The Oppurtunity Of A Lifetime
Start writing a post
Politics

The Oppurtunity Of A Lifetime

The mission trip that changed me

35
The Oppurtunity Of  A Lifetime
flickr

This past July, I had the privilege of visiting Seattle to run a summer camp for refugee children. We teamed up with the IRC (International Rescue Committee) in Seattle to run a week long camp teaching the kids important life values, introducing them to new topics such as theatre and art, and playing various games and sports with them. Most of the kids spoke decent English, however some of them spoke little to no English. The kids were from all over, the most popular countries being Burma, Bhutan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria.

I went in to this experience not really knowing what to expect. I knew I wanted to make a lasting connection with a kid, however I was worried about the language barrier. How could I make an impact on a child let alone talk to them if they couldn't even understand me? What I learned is that there are more than one ways of communicating with someone. Just sitting in utter silence for 20 minutes drawing with sidewalk chalk can be just as powerful as holding a conversation. I think the most powerful thing about running the summer camp was watching the kids just be kids. Most of the kids didn't remember how they got to the US, or simply did not want to talk about it. Watching them jump rope, kick the soccer ball, or simply just hearing the shrieks of laughter spoke louder than words ever could.

Refugees are one of the most vulnerable groups of people in the United States. To leave everything behind and come to a foreign country with nothing at all is extremely challenging, especially with a family. This work was different than any other volunteer work I've ever done before because I also put myself in a vulnerable position. I got to learn about what the journey of fleeing your home country was like and learn about the terrible conditions along the way. To read about something is one thing, but then to meet and interact with the innocent children from these countries is another. All mission trips are great, however instead of painting a house, I got to make actual refrences and build personal connections. From now on, whenever I see anything on the news regarding refugees, I will forever associate it with the faces of the children I met on this trip.

While working at the camp, we also got tour Seattle. We got to visit pikes place market, go on a hike up Rattlesnake Ridge, visit the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and tour Theo Chocolate Factory. The weather was perfect, sunny and cool, quite different from the hot and humid Florida summer.

I think the greatest thing I learned on this trip was to be grateful for what I have. I was born into a relatively safe country, a nurturing community, and a privileged household. Refugees dropped everything in their homeland and fled to a foreign country to flee some sort of persecution. Why was I born into this society and innocent children born into places of conflict and war? No one knows the answer to this question, and all I can do is be eternally thankful for what I have.

There are many things you can do to help. Donate money to the IRC or other refugee organizations. Have an open mindset when considering the most recent political discussions about refugees coming into America. And most importantly, educate yourself and others.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Holidays With the Family?

Should retail outlets close on holidays so their employees can be with their families?

107
Pexels

For the past few years, having stores open on Thanksgiving has become a popular trend. The sales have started earlier on the day known as Gray Thursday. Now, the Mall of America has taken a bold stand and is closing its doors on Thanksgiving. They are very excited in giving the day back to their workers so they can spend time with their family.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Black Friday: Explained

Time to question this unofficial corporate holiday.

2218
Flickr/John Henderson

On a personal level, Black Friday has always confused me. Everyone just ate a ton and spent all day with their families—why would we want to go out and vigorously shop, fighting crowds? I totally see why other people want to go do it, but I’ve never quite understood the concept myself. While I’ve been Black Friday shopping once or twice, I don’t get that excited about it unless it’s an opportunity to spend time with family or friends. Don’t get me wrong; I am the queen of bargains. Still, I never seem to have the energy to go out into the jungle of shoppers early the day after Thanksgiving, or even immediately after Thanksgiving dinner. Many people, though—including my loved ones—are enthusiastic about Black Friday shopping, and it seems most other Americans are the same way. So, it’s worth looking at the reasons for this commercially-driven, unofficial American holiday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

#OptOutside This Black Friday

I am opting to go outside this Black Friday, and I hope you do so as well.

5342
Ross Woodhall

The day after Thanksgiving has always been regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas season. While not a federal holiday, many people take off work, spend time at home with their families, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. This Friday off turned into a prime opportunity to begin the never-ending chore of Christmas shopping. Soon it became one of the busiest shopping days a year, which companies capitalized on by bringing the best deals of the year to this day we know as Black Friday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

Cereal never seemed more appealing than at 10 pm.

6741
7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

There is almost nothing more annoying in the world than waking up to the sound of an alarm. From the moment you get up until the time you get to bed, you are bombarded with responsibilities. You have to go to work and school, run errands, and do favors. But if you're a night owl then you have an advantage of getting a few more extra hours in the day. Here are seven perks to being a night owl:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

17 tasty foods to cook in an air fryer

Air fryers are becoming a staple in all health conscious households because of its delicious, yet grease free way of cooking your favorite dishes! We all love a good fried chicken dish, but this is a great alternative if you are eating mindfully.

There are plenty of places that sell air fryers such as Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon.

5421
Air Fryed Avocado Fries
Photo by: Tatum Oblonsky

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments