The impact of World Vision as felt by a 20-year volunteer
Philippines – Mercy is a soft-spoken and gentle person. She lives with her husband in a simple wooden abode in one of the residential areas in Isabela Province, in the northern part of the country.
The 51-year-old mother has three children. April Joy, 26 years old, is the eldest. She is a college graduate with an IT course. She already has two children. Jennifer, the second child, didn’t finish her college degree but she works as an assistant in a dental clinic. She is also starting her own family. The third child, Krisman, is also married. He is based in Manila and just finished his contract as a factory worker.
For Mercy, her children’s condition gives her a sense of fulfillment. Their life would have a different narrative if there were no generous individuals and meaningful experiences that happened.
Mercy was a housewife with no means of earning that would help his husband’s hammock-making livelihood. That changed when her neighbors and other parents elected her as a community leader.
When World Vision opened its development projects in the province, it tapped the support of the residents. Mercy was one of the elected leaders. It was the start of a “life-changing” experience for the mother.
At first, Mercy was unsure of the outcome of her service. However, she still took the big leap of faith towards being a volunteer. It was also her way of paying back to the World Vision sponsors who supported her three children through education projects.
Through her journey, she bloomed from a shy person to an outgoing one – while keeping her humility intact. She gained new friends and traveled to many places that widened her outlook in life.
However, the most significant change Mercy felt is how she got closer to God. Before she became a volunteer, she treated her faith as a responsibility. But through World Vision’s spiritual nurture activities, she developed a deeper relationship with Christ.
“The whole experience as a volunteer is fulfilling, it became a habit, a healthy habit to go out every day to serve the community,” shared Mercy, whose leap of faith as a volunteer spanned to 20 years.
There were many challenges Mercy encountered during her tenure as a volunteer, such as being belittled by some residents, but she saw it as mere “roadblocks that needed to be hurdled.” According to her, every effort is all worth it especially that she can witness the changes in the community through the World Vision projects.
Now, Mercy is still committed to serve the community even after World Vision closed its projects. She works as a community health worker in the village, monitoring the health status of children and facilitates health activities.
She reflects that she continued service despite World Vision leaving is the same as other residents in the community. “World Vision empowered us and taught us how to become initiators of change. We are more proactive to social issues especially those that affect our children,” she shared.
The life of Mercy is a testament that World Vision’s work is more than the tangible things that are provided in the community. The core of the organization’s work can be seen in the transformation of each person who became part of the ministry.
For Mercy, it is her discovered passion to serve the community.