There are a lot of different reasons to volunteer with Rising Star Outreach. Friendships will form, you’ll live once in a life time experiences, memories will be made and life lessons will manifest themselves each and every day. One of the ironies of service is that somehow, focusing on others often ignites personal learning and growth. I’ve witnessed it happen to several different Rising Star Outreach volunteers and have personally experienced it myself.
This past summer, Shane Maryott served as Media Specialist with Rising Star Outreach in India. With his permission, the following except has been taken from his blog:
“While we were heading to colony last week I was looking out the medical van window thinking how helping some of the children write letters to their sponsors was hard for me. At the peak of my emotions I almost cried because there were so many kids asking for letters from their sponsors and I only had the ones I had that day. Simultaneously, I was also watching the light fade from warm bronze to thin honey and thinking about how beautiful the rice patties and various vegetable plots were all hemmed in by teak, neem, and palm with accents of various bushes. This is when I realized that I am being forced to open by my experiences I am having here. I have over the last decade or so, closed many parts of myself off . . . but the fact is I have not allowed any one person or single group of people to get in -- not in a long time. After some thought I came to another realization-if you go out into the world it will work its way into your heart and open you up. I am so grateful to live in a world that is so strange and beautiful that it disarms you, that it opens you and forces you to live as part of it.” - Shane Maryott
I love this authentic example of personal learning and growth and I know Shane isn’t the only Risings Star volunteer that has had this type of experience. Working with the leprosy affected of India will expose you to realties most of us never have to think about. However, encountering these things leads to progression of all involved-yourself included.
All photo credits go to Shane Maryott
Shane Maryott can be found at fromhereandmetothereandyou