Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Healthy Inspiration!

Guess what I'm eating while I'm posting this new tidbit to you?? A variety of organic olives...yum!! One of the very best lacto-fermented foods...more about that later.

With all of the turmoil and strife everywhere we turn, I thought I'd commit this post to ways of making a lasting change in our own lives, as well as in the lives of those much less fortunate than we are.

Have you ever thought of immersing yourself in another culture? Maybe you have, but maybe not...well, me neither until I took a summer trip to New York City! I attended a culturally diverse church and volunteered for their summer lunch program. This program provided lunch, games, and fellowship for families who were going through tough times. There are 65 different nationalities represented in this church and I've never felt more "whole" in all my life than being in the midst of God's people, with all of the walls torn down. There were no barriers (not even language because a hug and a smile says it all). I knew in an instant that this was the single most important aspect of my journey to holistic healing...the building of relationships and reaching beyond my sphere of influences and outside of my comfort zone.

I came home from new York City forever changed, with an intense passion to "hear" the Words of God, as He molds and shapes me into His usable vessel.

I would encourage every one of you to consider a volunteer vacation. I can think of no better way to experience the culture and the people than to roll up your shirt sleeves and teach the school children, help build communities, preserve wildlife, and so on. I think it would be so easy to miss the most important part of this cultural experience if you were merely a "sight seer."

The beauty of volunteer opportunities is they are tailor-made to meet the needs of all of those who stress an interest. There are programs from a few days long to more than a year. There are a variety of different opportunities as well...you can bathe elephants in Bangkok, build structures in Bali and many other areas, teach children in Ecuador, as well as disadvantaged children in the United States. Trips vary in cost from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand.

There are several programs to help you organize your trip. In fact, many local churches organize volunteer trips on a regular basis. Here are a few reputable organizations to help you plan your journey:


Check out Charity Guide and Global Volunteers

I have communicated with the Tandana Foundation at great length and I am eagerly waiting upon the Lord for the financing that will enable me to take my next volunteer trip to Ecuador! They have even identified the family who will welcome me into their home with open arms. They are very excited for me to help with Jeorge's English and I, in turn, am very excited to learn organic gardening from Jeorge and Ximena! They are waiting with great anticipation, as am I, to have me teach the local children English!

You can just envision how this will do much more for me than I will do for them. Eight weeks in Ecuador equals a changed woman!

Here is Tandana Foundation

Please watch the video of the Tandana Foundation volunteers in Mali:



I would encourage you, especially if you seek the road to greater health, to look into a volunteer vacation. It certainly doesn't have to be on a grand scale, but, the impact it will have on your well-being will be nothing less than grand!

I can't wait to read your thought!

Marisa


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have taken many vacations this way. You go to give and find you are the one that receives. Our first was our trip to Hong Kong in 1987. Our month long experience there was so good that our stop in Hawaii paled in comparison. The reason - while we were in Hong Kong we were living with the people and in the culture. Don't get me wrong - Hawaii is a great place but walking side by side with people where they live is beyond words for me.
Since that trip there have been lots and yes they have changed me. Thanks for this time to reflect on how God is working on me.
Love ya, Rhonda

Marisa said...

Rhonda,

You and Scott have been very inspirational for me! I so appreciate all you've done for the sake of others. I admire you for heeding to God's call in your lives and for preparing your hearts for service. I'm anxious to see what God has around the bend for both of you :)

Love you!

Marisa