【829Enews】Sharing in people’s stories changed me

by Vina Frederick (IC JMC) When I decided to embark on this journey to bring happiness to others, I didn’t realize that I was also bringing happiness to myself. Unsuspecting changes occur in your life just by giving and loving. My volunteer service in Taiwan first began at Harmony Home, an HIV/AIDS shelter that cares for people living with and children affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as others who need a temporary home. I have shared their laughter and I know their pain. Now I can fondly refer to those living at Harmony Home as family—my Taiwan family. When you share people’s stories it changes you. You develop a new-found appreciation, love and respect for the less fortunate; the broken-hearted and the lost, searching souls. I also offer my services at a prison, visiting the foreign inmates weekly. I have forged great relationships with three of them. Last month, I felt touched and humbled by what I read in one of the inmate’s diaries, that he showed me; it actually hit me how much of an impact my visits had on this inmate. My volunteer service has brought me unimaginable joy, and I can bravely say it has been a life-changing experience. I have met so many beautiful people in Taiwan and they have helped me become a better person; for that I will eternally be grateful. Although, it is not easy listening to those heart-wrenching stories of babies without parents, of adults suffering from AIDS, or even of incarcerated men longing to feel the fresh air of freedom push against their cheeks, it has been a powerful experience.

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