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From the August 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I REACHED A STAGE IN MY LIFE WHERE I FELT A DEEP DESIRE TO SERVE, to show my love for humanity in some specific way. Having a love for Africa all of my life and being aware of how vast the need is, I applied to volunteer at a residential care facility in South Africa. The facility had been established to care for children orphaned by AIDS, who were the victims of violence, or who had been abandoned. I signed up for six months.

Before going, I prayed to know that God would place me where I could do the most good. I did extensive research on the local area and knew in advance some of the challenges I would face.

On my arrival from Australia, I learned that I would be one of 36 international volunteers, all of us living in cramped, primitive quarters. The food was unfamiliar. Furthermore, we could leave the facility only every second weekend to go into a nearby small town to buy necessities. I felt so confined that I began to wonder why I had placed myself in this position. Loneliness and doubt clouded my thought. I felt alienated from everything familiar.

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