The very idea of volunteering in a far-off country may excite or frighten you, make you wonder what you would encounter, and how you would feel and react. Generally, we as Americans have the luxury of living a relatively well-off existence with abundant access to the things we need to survive and be comfortable. We may or may not be aware of how blessed we are and how much we take these comforts and amenities for granted. Generally we are quite removed from conditions of extreme hardship, only experiencing them second-hand, from television or movies or books; as entertainment, not as a condition of our lives.
Perhaps you feel a powerful desire to make a difference in the world. There is no better way to really learn what issues face our human family than to immerse yourself in the experience and encounter the challenges, the joys and the heartbreaks that are experienced every day in the world. For some, this calling manifests itself in volunteering with an organization right where they live. Others feel a calling from farther away, a desire to reach across the distance and connect with people from a country and a culture very different from their own. In volunteering, you can learn in a very direct and powerful way what it’s really like at the ground level, and how meaningful your presence and support can be.
Volunteering with LoveLight is not about building schools or digging wells. There is nothing wrong with that sort of project, but it’s not what we do. Our projects are building a global family. We build up people: grandmothers caring for their grandchildren in the wake of the death of their parents from AIDS, children struggling to do well in school, people who are sick and need a kind word, children who are hungry and need something to eat.
The complexity of issues on the continent of Africa can be overwhelming. It is not easy to acknowledge that an enormous percentage of our human family is in acute distress. It can be numbing or depressing, but we hope to offer another vantage point from which to survey the damage and still remain intact with hearts open—no small task, yet vitally important.
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