Section 4: LIVING WITH GOODNESS - EXAMPLES
FINDING YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE
Ellen Lives Her Calling
We’ve made this point several times in other lessons…that, if we pay attention to them, our interests, abilities, and feelings will lead us to our purpose in life…our calling, if you will. It is our belief that that these qualities, when focused on how we will help others, will, at some point, “spell it out” as we work to determine what we will do with our life. Over simplified, it’s these qualities that God’s Spirit, working within us, uses not only to direct our lives but to use us to be the “miracle workers” this world so badly needs. Here’s a living example of how it works.
Orphaned, abandoned, abused, starved, neglected.
Our children here have all experienced one or more of these... but not now.
Now they are loved, cherished, educated, adored, and wanted.
All with full bellies and joyful laughter.
Ellen Was “Tapped on the Shoulder”
Have you ever heard someone say they found their calling in life? We often hear this when people say they are “called” to the ministry. Such individuals have realized they want to devote their lives to the service of others, sometimes through a particular denomination or church. Once they acknowledge their calling, they usually head to seminary to prepare themselves to lead a congregation or a religious organization.
But, our calling—what we come to realize as our life’s purpose—doesn’t have to be tied to the ministry. We may be called to be an accountant, a teacher, a business owner, an electrician, or to another career that uses our skills and talents to help other people in some way. And through our work and related activities, we not only can build an exceptional life for ourselves, but also help and serve others in our own unique way.
Ellen Humerickhouse is a great example of someone who found her calling and is living it out each and every day, helping others as she does:
Ellen was 19 years old and wondering what she was going to do with her life. She felt called to serve others, but she really didn’t know what she should do. She decided to go on mission trips when she was able, hoping to find answers along the way. After missionary trips to various inner cities in the United States, as well as Uganda, Ethiopia, and Reynosa, Mexico, she went on a trip to Arcahaie, Haiti, and that trip changed her life.
Haiti was still struggling to recover after the 2010 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people and left many more homeless and destitute. Ellen’s heart was touched by the fact that people who lived in shacks, had little or no food, and got their drinking water from a ditch still gave their time and effort to help others.
There was so much need in Haiti that Ellen didn’t know what she, as one person, could do, but she knew she had to do something. So, in the fall of 2013, Ellen decided to devote
her life to working with children in Haiti. She used her own funds to get started and subsequently raised funds to buy some land to build a children’s home in the village of Guiton.
Since that time, she has founded a nonprofit group and worked with others to raise money needed to build La Limyè (The Light)—a children’s home for orphaned girls of any age. Their goal is to take the girls out of the circle of poverty, feed and nurture them, teach them a trade that they can use to support themselves, and show them that someone loves and cares about them. La Limyè is now also used as a community center for local adults. The center offers basic literacy and life skills classes and gives participants access to clean water. In 2019, Ellen led the organization as they built a new learning center for children with special needs.
Clearly, Ellen’s work has expanded, and the benefits that she is bringing to the people of Haiti have expanded as well. Interestingly, it all started with a feeling she had inside…a calling, or “tap on the shoulder” if you will, to use her life to help others.
You May Get “Tapped on the Shoulder” Too
Your interests, skills, and feelings can lead you to do something special with your life as well. It may be right there in your hometown or, like Ellen, somewhere else in the world. And like it took builders, electricians, nannies, seamstresses, teachers and many other types of skills to help Ellen…there are others who will help you as well.
You may not have given serious thought to how you will ultimately use the life you have been given. But, we can each be part of something bigger than ourselves when we view our life as an opportunity to help others. And, that “tap on the shoulder” can, in fact, come at any time. If you feel it, be sure to make the choice to turn around and see what it is.
People can bring their talents and passions and lead education classes on health, hygiene, welding, plumbing, biblical studies, reading, writing, wellness, cooking and more.
The list of ways they can help teach the people in our area is endless.
They can, in fact, change lives.
Have you had thoughts about what your life’s purpose might be?
How does it relate to the interests, skills and feelings you have?
Who do you know that uses their interests and skills to help others?
Who has done something positive that has impacted you and your life?