It wasn't easy, frankly it was rather painful at times, but it was definitely worth it. I don't know where you are coming from or going to, or what your philosophy in life, but one thing I know - you can never get totally ready for this kind of an experience and you will never be more ready than now! You don't have to be a Bible expert, I'm surely not, all you have to have is faith and courage to make a decision. Everything else will fall into place and you will find yourself pursuing something that will change your life and the lives of other people for good.
Honestly, there isn't enough paper in the world to record all the ways that my year as a volunteer ESL teacher in Poland has impacted me. When I had no one to talk to, no one to "lean on", no one to laugh with or cry to, Jesus reminded me that He was, is and will always be with me every step of the way. Learning to be patient with Christ has grown my faith in Him like I never would have imagined.
This experience completely reshaped the way I think. It inspired me, humbled me and it made me aware of other cultures in a way I could have never imagined before. I highly recommend it for anyone who is up for a challenge and wants to grow enormously!
For the first time in my life I feel like I am certainly following the path God created for me. Every day is a mystery and it brings about different challenges, but every milestone you cross makes you grow tremendously. Education, fun, service, growth and development; these are the key words I have been carrying with me since the beginning of this wonderful journey. With the blessings from God and the strength of His spirit each step I take brings me closer to fulfilling my ultimate purpose, and this journey is helping me find it.
Volunteering is an indescribable experience. It's hard to find the words to explain how wonderful serving God truly is. This experience touched every part of my being, my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. The Bible says that the harvest is plenty but the workers are few, so if you hear God calling you to serve, just go! You'll have the time of your life!
There are so many people hurting out there who could use your help in many different ways. Irrespective of how little you might feel you have to offer, offer it anyway! The blessings you will get for coming out of your comfort zone will far outweigh what you ever could have imagined.
I can truly say, that I have changed in many ways. Material things don't matter any more, and when we give Bible studios in the "bush" as I call it, well I just feel like selling all I have and giving it to these so so poor people. Being a volunteer is a wonderful experience, I can most certainly recommend it to people of all ages, and I am humble and grateful, that God can use me.
We both came to the mission field on God's business, foolishly thinking we were forsaking all to follow Him. Nine years later and still missionaries, we realise when your priority is His work, you will always have work, blessed work... as He supplies your every need. We thank God for the opportunity to enter volunteer missionary service nearly a decade ago.
This experience has changed my life in many ways. I have no home but I am happy, I have no solid income or bank account, but my future is sure. At times, there is no-one, but my best friend Jesus. Jasmine Frater, UK to Japan (Jasmine has now emigrated to Japan and married someone she met while volunteering. It really did change her life!)
Volunteering will revolutionise your life. It will challenge you, encourage you and turn your world upside down. Volunteering made God real to me and I feel priviliged that I now work to help others have the same experience. I would encourage anyone to try it and see what God can do.