Reader Question: How Has Serving Overseas Changed You?

From Joyce Hyttinen: What is it about the poor and serving the poor that is transformative. I am assuming that you change interiorly from an experience such as CRS offers.

Hi Joyce,
I wish I know how what I’m seeing now will affect me in the future. After living in Africa, I think I’ve become more patient. When I go home to the US to visit, people seem caught up in things that to me seem unimportant. TV shows, petty little problems. Nobody wants a lecture from me on the plight of poor Africans, but I think a lot of these people could use it. But it’s hard to make someone appreciate a reality so different from their own. In the years to come, my experience in Africa will make my radar more attuned to those in need, regardless of where they are from.

Will I work for CRS the rest of my life (I’m in my early 30s)? Who knows? If I do end up back in the States, I think it will be hard to adjust to a life that isn’t as emotionally intense as this. I hear a lot of very personal stories. To find these and document them is immensely fulfilling. It could be hard to not have that as part of my life.

Thanks for your question,
Lane Hartill, CRS West Africa

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