• September 2008
en

Hannah volunteer in Chile: testimony before leaving.

The community in Chile, 2009

Hannah Sorensen has been vol­un­teering in Chile since August 2008. Before leaving, she shares with us the story of Sergio, a friend of the neigh­bor­hood, and her feel­ings at the end of her mis­sion:

We re­­cen­t­ly have been get­ting to know new friends here. One of them is a man called Sergio, mid­dle aged and with se­ri­ous prob­lems with de­pres­­sion. It was kind of an in­ter­est­ing meet­ing. Sergio text-mes­saged us out of the blue, ask­ing for more in­­for­­ma­­tion on Heart’s Home. We then called him and in­vit­ed him to din­ner. After the en­­coun­ter, Louis and Alejandra went to vis­it him in his house, a very dirty and un­in­vit­ing apart­­ment, in a dan­ger­ous and de­­pressed neigh­bor­­hood in Valparaiso. He lives alone with some cats as his par­ents are both de­ceased. At first he did not want us to go to his house, say­ing that it was a place full of hurt and sad­­ness, but in the end re­­ceived them and was very en­­cour­aged by the vis­it. Sergio de­scribed to them his im­pres­­sions of his vis­it to Heart’s Home. We had been a lit­tle em­bar­rassed about not wel­­com­ing him too well that day when he came to our house as there had been a lot of other peo­ple in the house, but Sergio did not feel that way. He told them that he had nev­er sat at a table so in­ter­­na­­tion­al, which for him was very im­pres­­sive. He al­so said that it was like a great ban­­quet to which he was in­vit­ed. For us, it is an ev­ery­day oc­cur­rence to share our meal with vis­i­­tors, but for Sergio, Heart’s Home is a place where he feels at home and not so alone. He told us that it is what he needs and has been look­ing for. Hearing this tes­ti­­mony con­­firms for me on­ce again the grace of this ex­pe­ri­ence we can live. It is a spir­it far be­yond our work or pres­ence. Although we con­t­in­ue wel­­com­ing many chil­­dren, espe­­cial­ly on the week­ends, we have been think­ing that may­be we are be­ing shown a par­tic­u­lar mis­­sion here in Heart’s Home, Chile, with many peo­ple like Sergio who are very alone and de­­pressed.

As of now, I have about a mon­th left in Chile. Of course there are things I re­­gret: what I didn’t do, the mis­­takes I made, or the peo­ple who I wasn’t a re­al friend to when they need­ed a friend., which makes me very sad. But what is greater is my amaze­­ment at this short year, which has been in­­cred­i­bly full of Grace. It has changed my life, wo­ken me up to some­thing much greater than my­­self and my plans and ideas… I will leave part of my heart in Chile. But I al­so will re­­turn to the US with lots of thank­­ful­­ness for this ex­pe­ri­ence, for Gods mer­cy and for all that the­se peo­ple have taught me. It is clear that I have re­­ceived much more than I have ev­er given, and of course it doesn’t end here. Life con­t­in­ues and Punto Corazon San Alberto Hurtado of course will con­t­in­ue too….I want to thank each one of you on­ce again for your sup­­port and for each prayer on my be­half dur­ing the­se 15 months. You know that it hasn’t all been ros­es, but I be­lieve that your be­ing here for me has made all the dif­fer­­ence.

With all my love,

Hannah


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