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,