“Stewardship is a coming together of our major testimonies. To be good stewards in God’s world calls on us to examine and consider the ways in which our testimonies for peace, equality, and simplicity interact to guide our relationships with all life.” –John Woolman c. 1770
Over the summer, I had the absolute pleasure of doing a community service program with Rustic Pathways in Thailand. I did two programs in which I did community service the first being Intro to Community Service and the second was the Wilderness First Responder program. During my time in Thailand, I worked on a variety of different service projects, my favorite being Bobbing and Floating where we taught Thai kids how to swim (preventing accidental drowning a main cause of death in Southeast Asia). However, the memory from my service that sticks out the most was from another service project called Welcome Homes. Over the course of the summer Rustic Pathways had been building a home for an elderly couple in the community, who were in need of a place to live. I was privileged enough to see the home get finished and perform a traditional Thai house warming ceremony. The ceremony was attended by two of the couple’s friends, one of which changed my perspective on life. She was an elderly woman who lived alone and she had the best spirit of anyone I had ever seen. While we were performing the housewarming ceremony, she was hooting and hollering and making all her friends laugh. She gave everyone the biggest hugs and nicest compliments. I found out that she used to be a teacher and that now despite her old age she opens one of the local bars every night. We made an immediate connection despite the language barrier, and she even invited me over to her home to eat lunch. Although, I could not go eat with her, I know that I want to develop a spirit and perspective on life like hers. One that is fun, looks past the bad events, and is always willing to laugh and have a good time.