A Mission is Good for your Health and Wellbeing
I have spent most of my life wishing and hoping for something I could get passionate about, a cause or purpose I could get involved with and wrap my life around, something that would give me a deep sense of purpose and satisfaction in life. I am not talking about a passion for money, power or notoriety but one that involves helping others. I am aware of many people that have such a passion. It appears to me that this passion for most people was brought about by a traumatic event or spiritual awakening in their life. Well, I have a strong faith but not because of a sudden spiritual awakening and, thank God, I have not had to experience an unusual traumatic event. My life has been rather run of the mill.
When Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church got involved with the Uganda mission in 2000, I immediately felt a tug at my heart for the People of Papoli. I got involved with the mission in some minor ways but as time went on that tug became stronger and stronger. I began to have a desire to make a trip to Papoli and get better acquainted with those wonderful fellow Christians. I didnít say anything to my wife, Betsy, for fear she would think it a bit over zealous and expensive. Then one day when driving home from church Betsy turned to me and said. ďDennis, for some time now I have had a strong desire to go to Papoli and personally get involved with the people.Ē My heart actually jumped and it felt like God had opened a door for both of us. I said ďBetsy, I canít believe this. For a long time now I have wanted to do that too but didnít bring it up to you for fear you would think it a bit extreme.Ē Betsy and I strongly believe that God put that spark into our lives. It just took us a while to put it together.
We made our first trip in Jan. 2008 with three other people from PCPC. In addition to the primary mission of the trip, Betsy and I used this time to look into the aspects of returning for an extended stay after our upcoming retirement. When we met the villagers and experienced life in Papoli, we knew without a doubt that our decision to spend more time with these wonderful people was meant to be. We did return and resided in the village for three months in late 2009. The passion I had been seeking for so long was now a reality in my life. What a great feeling it was and still is! An extra bonus is knowing that we were chosen to be a part of Godís plan in that part of the world.
I have read and heard about many unhappy people whose lives were dramatically changed for the better because they were able to take the focus off their own life and direct it to helping others. It is a known fact that helping others can improve a personís overall wellbeing. Life takes on a new meaning and you become more at peace with yourself.
Getting involved with a common mission is also beneficial in a business environment. Working together on a common mission has a way of promoting a closer relationship among employees thus producing a more rewarding working environment. This, of course, contributes to the overall success of the business.
My recommendation to others about finding a passion in life would be to first pray about it. That is something I probably did not do enough of for most of my life. Then search your soul for those things that strike a chord with your heart. It just might be the Holy Spirit knocking on your door. Look for opportunities to get involved with those things that move you and satisfy your inner desire to help others. It is hard not to get impatient about finding that passion or mission that will put more meaning into your life, but remember that God and the Holy Spirit work on a different time frame than yours. However, when you find the mission that satisfies your inner yearning, the wait will be worth it and your life will take on a new dimension.
By: Dennis Bradt, Administrator Ė Village Partners International