I have just returned from a humanitarian trip to Bolivia with a group of youth from all across the country. I spent nearly three weeks in a foreign land, surrounded by foreign people and a foreign language. I was a little homesick at times and a little physically sick from some of the food I ate. Our youth group worked hard in the heat one day and in the pouring rain the next. We did our best to serve the people of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. However, in spite of our efforts, we soon realized we were the ones receiving true service.
The everyday lives of Americans and Bolivians are very different. One of the things our group first observed about the population in Bolivia was the circumstances in which they lived. They almost had nothing. Cell phones, cars, front doors, and even clean clothes were considered luxuries. To us, they may be labeled as “poor.” And while that label might fit when considering their lack of money, cars, or televisions, they didn’t need all of those things. What I admired so much about these people was their ability to value and cherish the things they did have, especially the things they had that don’t cost money, such as family and love.
In my life, I get too caught up in worldly things such as television, social media and other technologies. But by spending all that time away from those things, I realized that they aren’t necessary to my life. I learned that those things don’t make you a happier person. Instead, valuing family and friends, and not being distracted by the things of the world leads to the greatest happiness.
During my 17 days away from home, the people of Bolivia directly and indirectly taught me life lessons I will never forget. I’ve grown a deeper love for the things I really do hold closest to my heart. I challenge you to look around, and see all of the things with which our Heavenly Father has blessed you. Don’t take for granted what is most precious to you and to your Heavenly Father!