/ 2. June 2012 19:33
Working at the Saint Vincent de Paul Village has truly been an eye-opening experience for me. I feel privileged to be able to provide care to the many homeless men, woman, children, and families on a daily basis. Serving this vulnerable population has been a challenge for me in more ways than one and I have come to embrace these challenges whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Ever since I was a child it has always been easy for me to blame God when something didn’t seem fair or when things didn’t necessarily go the way I had initially planned. In a way, looking back, this has proven to me that I can and have always depended on God and that even in those times of despair He is the one I turn to.
I’ve found myself looking to God for answers and guidance this year more than I ever have before, as my relationship with Him has grown into something more than just someone in the heavens to blame when things go wrong. I now turn to God seeking courage and wisdom to understand why things are the way they are in the world and trust that I am able to make positive changes. I see injustices every day in the work that I am doing here in San Diego, CA whether I’m in the medical clinic or walking home from work passing by numerous people camped out under the bridges with stolen shopping carts filled with their entire life possessions.
I have also been challenged to put aside my own preconceived notions and judgments through my service this year. Not long after starting at the medical clinic did I learn to truly live out and put into practice my core values of compassion, respect, and genuine love for others. I have been able to listen to the stories of countless people and their lives, which has provided me with an even greater understanding of my patients and some of life’s injustices. On more occasions than one I have had patients tell me to keep my faith and to never lose sight of God because when everything else is gone – a home, money, family, friends, health etc – He is all that’s left. I’ve been challenged by my patients to take every opportunity to thank God for all that I have been blessed with, and for the opportunities that lie ahead of me. I now have a deeper appreciation for even the smallest gifts of life and know that taking for granted the simple pair of socks I’m wearing at this moment would be ungrateful when there are anywhere from 8-10,000 homeless people in the San Diego area alone who go without basic necessities every day.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
San Diego, CA 2011-2012