Do you know when you go on a retreat or go on a vacation, and you try to put aside your daily struggles and troubles, and all you can do is smile and enjoy every moment? My journey with Mercy Volunteer Corp feels like a year long retreat. This year, I retreated from my daily struggles of working, studying, and worrying about the future. It doesn’t mean I’m avoiding the realities of life but I’ve put it on hold, to serve others, to serve Jesus, to serve myself so that I can become a person for others.
Coming from a fast paced society, city, and culture, I felt as though I never had the time to think, reflect, learn, and apply at my own pace. “There’s no time to think of others, what are YOU doing with YOUR life to make a living to benefit YOUR future?” said society. By accepting God’s opportunity to spend a year of simple living, community life, and service in Philadelphia, I realized how peaceful life can be when you let go of the societal expectations by practicing simple living, finding joy in community through intentional living, and sharing the gift of giving through service.
I often wondered if I would have had a better experience if I entered MVC right after college, especially living in a town of people in their early 20s in Philadelphia. But I’m so grateful for God’s impeccable timing. After working and finishing graduate school, how great is it that I am able to spend a whole year to serve those in need, and learn so much about myself through them?!
Through conversations with community members, coworkers, strangers, new church members, priests, sisters, and through adventuring out into the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, and seeing the beauties of close knit communities, the rich history and religious presence in Philadelphia, I’m awestruck at how God reveals himself to me. The greatest part of this experience is that I am able to find quietness and joy in the midst of this crazy roller coaster ride God has put me on.
Minji Kown: Philadelphia, PA