Years ago, my church pastor began encouraging our congregation to see with “people eyes.” People eyes? Yes, we are people; and yes, we have eyes. But what does this mean? The answer is pretty much self-explanatory and not difficult to understand. The concept is to really take notice of those around you – to actively look for opportunities to serve and love your neighbor. To be intentional.
Now this isn’t a skill that you acquire overnight. It takes practice. You learn to observe, listen, and then determine how you can help. What can you do to positively make an impact on someone’s life? Oftentimes it’s a kind word, an offer to assist with a task, or perhaps a meal when someone is under the weather. While I would like to say I quickly mastered the art of seeing those around me with “people eyes,” the reality was I had a long way to go.
Fast forward a handful of years to 2013. As recent “empty nesters” my husband and I began to do some traveling as a result of our newly reclaimed freedom. We were fortunate to travel to Tanzania. However, what started out as checking off two “bucket list” items … climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and going on safari … quickly turned into an experience that changed me. My “people eyes” were sharpening their focus.
A few weeks out from our trip I was visiting the hotel website where we would be staying. The Pack for a Purpose logo caught my eye. Curious, I clicked on the link and began to investigate. Long story, short, we ended up traveling to Tanzania with 102 pounds of needed supplies for an orphanage located near Moshi!
The following year we traveled to Nepal and again, we Packed for a Purpose. This time supplies were delivered to a local school outside Kathmandu.
On both trips one thing became abundantly clear. We are so fortunate to live in the United States. We have jobs and we have a roof over our heads. There are multiple stores within a few minutes of our home where food, medicine and school supplies can be easily obtained. We are fortunate indeed. But the truth is this – many, many people across the globe do not have access to basic needs.
There comes a time in life when you really begin to wonder what you can do to improve the lives of those you encounter. How can you leave each situation better than when you found it? Pack for a Purpose is a vehicle of facilitation that “sees” the needs of the communities you visit while traveling. This resonated with me.
We’ve stayed connected to and have supported Pack for a Purpose for some time now, and recently my husband and I were honored to be invited to join their Board. Our hope is that Pack for a Purpose will grow to become a household name, continuing to meet the needs of those less fortunate.