A somewhat crazy decision


Hi!

I’m Joanne from Taiwan and I’ve volunteered at ALEH Gedera for almost 7 months. It was my first time to interact with the people who have both intellectual and developmental disabilities and I expected to help the residents with their day-to-day life, play with them and provide them with joy and my love.

However, after 7 months I found out that they taught me more than all I had given them. They taught me to be humble, courageous and to love. I also learned something new about myself. Sometimes, I felt frustrated and powerless, but every time I saw the smiles on their faces and the happiness they convey, I got my strength and energy back. I heard that being a happy person is the best contribution to the world. These children proved that to me and taught me the value of being happy.

Volunteering in Israel was a somewhat crazy decision, yet such a wonderful time in my life.

I like the holidays celebrated in Israel, especially the historic and meaningful holidays. One day I just arrived at the house I served at and a boy asked me, “Sorry Joanne, can you forgive me? Because today is Yom Kippur”. The boy with pure heart didn’t know that he was teaching me remembering to say sorry to those I care about. I like the meaning and the ‘fruit’ of the holiday. Moreover, I was surprised at the influence of holidays to the children and it’s incredible the tradition is preserved well after thousands of years.

I’m so grateful that God gave me the opportunity to learn these precious things, to meet the angels in ALEH and kind people in Israel. Volunteering in Israel was a somewhat crazy decision, yet such a wonderful time in my life.

Joanne Hang

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