Sunday, August 2, 2009
After my father's passing, my mom has constantly been searching for a 'cause' to support, in order to help fill her void. So, last week, she went to this place called 'International Refugee Relief Center' here in our city. It's a center where volunteers come to assist refugees in settling with a smooth transition here in America. She had her orientation last week and loved it. So a couple of days ago, she asked me to join the organization with her. I decided to do so, and yesterday we went to go meet the family we are mentoring and helping.
The US government takes care of refugees for their first four months here, after which they have to find jobs and start settling on their own. Since it's a sort of 'welfare' system-they live in very, very rough areas of town with other refugees for their first four months. The family we are sponsoring is a young couple from Nepal. They are Bhutanese by birth, but were forced into exile at very young ages due to political and ethnic unrest and have been living in Nepal their whole lives. They have a young 4-yr old daughter, and they are accompanied by 3 of their brothers/cousins. They are college educated (in Nepal), and speak minimal English. They are all amazing musicians as well! They sing and play the guitar and piano beautifully. Their home is nearly empty, except for their guitars and pianos! All six of them are living in a tiny, simple 2-bedroom apartment. They are a few of the sweetest, purest, and happiest people we have ever met--and we've met a lot of people, so that's saying A LOT. They have almost nothing, and yet they are truly happy because they have each other! My mother and I went to meet them for the first time yesterday.
We will be mentoring them and helping them as much as we can--taking them around the city, helping them find jobs, helping them perfect their English, giving them clothes...and helping them in whatever way we can. I can not describe the satisfaction my heart experienced after meeting these people. I am so truly excited to give them my whole heart and everything else I can possibly give. I truly felt like I was fulfilling my human purpose by opening my heart to them. I can't wait to learn from them as well! From their culture to their simplicity to their genuineness, they have already made a huge impact on me. I took the first step yesterday, but I have absolutely realized that I will be spending the rest of my life doing this, because I will be incomplete without the amazing fulfillment of using my life to serve others who need me!
A life lived without giving is not a life at all, for the collective human spirit thrives only on the act of 'giving' to each other and strengthening our communal bond in the human race!
Einstein said it best: "Only a life lived for others is worth living."