When I think of the word mission, I think of people doing wonderful deeds while serving the greater community. I think of Australian soldiers who have served in East Timor and those in Iraq; CARITAS Australia, the Australian Red Cross and many Christian organisations, that, out of the goodness of their hearts, use their skills to help others. They give, clothe, feed, supply medicine and educate the many less privileged brothers and sisters all over in the world.
As I am only in my early twenties I cannot speak of a missionary experience, however I feel a little light inside of me sparks off when I think of community service. I am from a small rural community an hour west of Albury in New South Wales, Australia. In my area, where problems are recognised there is an emphasis on addressing the issues by seeking appropriate organisations. If you can see a problem then you try to do something about it!! I have been involved from a very young age in Landcare Australia activities such as helping to plant thousands of native trees and collecting rubbish along roadsides. I have also been part of a youth committee, taking environmental concerns to the local council.
I was involved in our school fundraising committee in my final years of High School, of which my year group held the school record for raising money. With the couple of thousand dollars we raised, we were able to supply fresh water to a community in Africa and much needed resources to start a school in another community We also donated funds to the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia for remote areas in Australia and supplied many gifts to the Salvation Army as presents for the homeless and needy at Christmas. I have been an active member in my local Rural Fire Brigade (a part of the NSW Rural Fire Service) for two and a half years and also hold a first aid certificate.
The satisfaction I have experienced by assisting those less fortunate was enormous. I have met many amazing, hardworking and compassionate people whom I now have the privilege of calling my friends. My most treasured experience has been with the Rural Fire Brigade, where I have acquired many skills, improved my confidence and also my ability to communicate. It is so rewarding knowing I have assisted in the prevention of property loss and injury.
We all know success should not be measured by material wealth but rather academic, sporting or business achievements that are acquired by years of effort and dedication. However, the most satisfying form of success is felt through doing something for someone else. So regardless of your age, please think of what you can do for someone else. As a past resident of Madre Nazarena Student’s House we were always challenged by the good Sisters to have our eyes on others, starting with those around us. This gives us a true feeling of success.