Why do we serve?
For many of us, service is a part of our daily lives. There are hundreds of ways to serve others, ranging from holding the door open at the grocery store to committing multiple years of service in a third world country. All forms of service are important. But what does all of this service do for us? For this blog, we will focus on international service.
In my experience, international service forms relationships with people who are different from us, but share a common bond. Typically, that common bond is faith. Faith in God, faith in family and faith in each other. Even in the face of horrific adversity, many of those we serve find a way to turn to God and allow Him to take care of the rest. Connecting on that level is so special, inspiring and sometimes, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Another aspect of serving is the global community concept. Despite language, socioeconomic and territorial barriers, we can grow our community. We witness hard work, passion and determination in different communities around the world. Serving with these people instead of for these people is what creates an everlasting community. We discover their values, our differences and how those things intersect.
I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Belize in 2011 with a group of fellow students from Marquette University. We worked directly with the villagers to build the second story of a school. Our first day was spent building a ladder that would give us access to the second floor. The village men gave up their work days during that week to assist all of us. We didn’t speak the same language, but we were all there for the same reason: giving the children of the village a safe, inhabitable school to learn in each day. The principal at this school preached about global community the entire week we were helping. It was incredible to see this entire village rally around a small, but extremely important project. They all helped in whatever ways they could. It was an uplifting week and I knew I wanted to continue that type of work.
Catholic Financial Life understands and appreciates the need for young adults to experience a global mission encounter. Service never stops. It’s not an exchange, but rather a lifetime of thought and action. We are thrilled to give our members the opportunity to experience the Dominican Republic and value the solidarity and peacefulness that arises from a week with dedicated individuals. That’s why we serve, right? To experience unity with those from different backgrounds fighting for the same cause. This is an amazing opportunity for that to happen.