Never done it? We can help!
Working in a foreign land can be quite overwhelming for someone that has never been. Today, we will discuss what its like to leave your comfort zone and go impact lives….
When deciding to venture out to use your skills to serve others, we recommend that you do your homework and select an organization that has their act together. There is nothing more disappointing than to go and try to make a difference and spend you whole time dealing with lack of organization, etc. There are many organizations that offer opportunities, but the differences in experience can be great. You can check out the more than 90 opportunities a year that MMI provides by clicking here.
Once you have selected an organization to join in service, become an amateur researcher and learn all about where you are going and the culture you will be entering. It's one of things you will realize soon after arriving….you will get more from the experience than those you serve! There is something special about interacting with those that are truly appreciative for you being there to help. Seeing lives transitioned from despair is impossible to put into words. Invest in your research and you will find it will be well worth your time.
It is important as you prepare to also understand that you are leaving your own environment and be sensitive to the fact that you are entering a different one. That does not mean to be scared, but aware of the fact that what may be normal in your daily interactions, could be considered offensive to those you are serving. Rely on your Project Directors to help fill you in and prepare you for any unique things. Don't worry, those you serve are thrilled you are there!
The day of travel is always an exciting one and you will be anxious leading up to this day. Be sure to get your rest, have any medications, sunscreen, insect spray, etc. packed and ready to go. Don't wait until the last minute to pack as the day of travel is busy enough! The key to heading out into service is flexibility. Relax, there may be flight delays, lost luggage, etc. These things do happen, but your Project Directors know how to adjust and are at the ready to deal with it.
During your service, be sure to stay hydrated and get your rest. The key to any service is to work hard, but then be sure that you re-charge for the next day. We are there to serve, its not a vacation and rest, nutrition, and hydration are a big component to you being able to use 100% of your skills to serve the less fortunate. Also, don't just hang out with a couple of people on the team, move around, get to know those you are serving with as you will find out a lot of great things and learn about some other pretty special people. Your service is what you make of it, so take advantage of any time you have to get to know your fellow team and the local people you are working with.
Upon return from service, you will be a different person. You will see first hand why those that go and serve in these places do what they do. Help get the message out! You are now a new voice in the wilderness that can speak to issues that others are facing and its up to us to share the story. If we don't, who will?
Those of us that live in the Western World are blessed beyond belief. The issues that the poorest among us face are miniscual compared to the issues faced in the poorest areas of the world. If you skin your knee in North America, you can get help on the corner, regardless of whether or not you can pay. If this happens in areas we serve…you can die. Doesn't get more basic than that. We need people like you, and others to join with us to help us change and in many cases, save lives! Join us!