A New Perspective
Beginning in my high school days, I learned that helping others not only helped them, but helped me have a better view of the world around me. I had many opportunities that I look back on as great privileges: helping teach English to a Chilean refugee family, spending time with kids with disabilities, and doing service projects with high school and college programs affiliated with the Rotary and Kiwanis organizations.
During college I found that I could also travel while helping others, so I traveled to several countries in Latin America with a program called Amigos de las America, giving immunizations and helping dig wells for clean water. During medical school I spent about 6 weeks in Brazil, working in clinics run by nuns in urban and rural poor communities.
After completing my pediatric training, I worked for a year as a doctor in a mission hospital in Kenya, and in more recent years, I’ve been able to participate in several short term medical mission trips around the world.
I’ve had great fun being the camp doctor at a Young Life camp with my family in beautiful British Columbia. Most recently, I’ve spent two summers helping run English camps in a migrant slum in Beijing, China.
Not all of my travel has been service oriented, however. Within the past few years my wife and I had a great time visiting two of our kids who chose to spend a college semester studying abroad in England and Chile.
Serving Right Here at Home
Serving doesn’t necessarily mean you have to travel to the other side of the world, however. Just recently one of my co-workers helped hand out free backpacks at a back to school event. My wife and daughters help out in our church nursery every other week. And some years the most fun I had in September was volunteering at the Puyallup fair!
I do believe that God calls us to help others, and that serving makes us better people. I encourage you to make giving of yourself a life-long habit. And, from my perspective, it’s a lot of fun to travel as well!