I can say this is my best decision ever in my life.
One year ago, without too much thinking, I didn’t know what it would be, and I was already on the way. In the very beginning I only planned to stay 3 months, but then I decided to extend to 6 months. Later in the blink of an eye, I was already in Israel for 1 year.
What happened during the year?
I’m gonna tell you it has changed my life entirely. I was an office worker, specialized in the marketing and media area for 8 years. Life goes on just like everyone else, but I had always felt that there’s something missing. So I decided to find it out. I never thought that I could be a volunteer and spend a year being with autistic children, I mean, I don’t have any experience in it. But then I found the most important thing is about your heart, if you are willing to do it, then you can make it.
When I started working at ADI, I had no idea how to deal with everything, drooling kids, language barrier with care-givers, and culture shock… etc. I was thinking: Could I survive over 3 months? It’s definitely out of my comfort zone. With the help of other volunteers, gradually I was getting used to this life style, and bond with the people whom surround me. Until now I still have a very clear image in my mind: There is one kid every time when she saw me, she always runs to me with a big smile and a hug. Who will give you this when you enter the office every morning? She taught me to always be generous to others with what you have.
Most of them love music. We played music, danced together, we listened to Hebrew, English and even Chinese songs! When a Jewish festival is coming, we played the guitar “together” and celebrated it. I remember, there is a boy, his sense of rhythm is even better than my friend! Never underestimate anyone! They have much more potential than we think. How I miss those days! When I got to know them better, I felt more humble, because I can imagine how big or how much that God has places in them, and there just needs to be someone to dig it out.
…I can imagine how big or how much that God has places in them, and there just needs to be someone to dig it out.
Doing something great needs great companies, and it will make you be a better person. I had a wonderful time with international and Israeli volunteers, I have learned so much from them. We are not only roommates, but also like a team. After work, we shared what happened today, which kid improved, and have discussions about what’s more we can do for them. Even sometimes we do Shabbat together, to feel the vibes of the Jewish culture. It’s really amazing to me, I feel closer to others at that moment, it’s definitely a unique experience in Israel.
So, why I stayed in Israel for 1 year? I think the answer is obvious. People usually praise me that I really do a good job, to help these kids… etc. But in my deepest heart, I know what these kids have given me, is way more than what I did for them. I’m grateful that I have met these lovely children in my life, and the only way of communication is “LOVE”. What else would be greater than love in the world? As you know how to love people, then you will know how to live your life.