A few years ago I went through a particularly trying time in my life. I spent a considerable amount of time focused on making the life changing decisions that I needed to make in order to move forward. Much anxiety and sadness resulted from this difficult time. In the spring of 2008, I was in church on Easter Sunday and feeling particularly low. That day in church, I learned about a mission trip to Mexico. I decided then and there to go on that mission trip. I knew that I needed to take the focus of my life off of myself and put it on others if my emotional wounds were ever going to heal. I needed to quit wallowing in my misery, and that mission trip to Mexico really helped me do that in a profound way.
Since that time my life has moved to a much happier place. This year I was given a two week sabbatical from my counseling work as a reward for having been at my job for ten years. So I am now in Brazil. This time I am on a mission trip to celebrate all that I have been given, and I will do that by giving back. I am doing this because I have learned that keeping the focus on others is the key to a happy and fulfilling life. My problems are so small when compared to the issues so many around me face -- in the United States and in Brazil. I hope I can play some part in lessening someone's suffering in some small way.