In my travels with our non-profit group Together We Can Change the World I get the blessing of meeting some incredible people doing amazing things.
Such it was recently when we visited the Bangkok Good Shepherd Sisters and met 80-year-old Sister Louise. She’s originally from Ireland but has been in Thailand serving the poor since 1965. She’s been a nun for 60 years.
Sister Louise’s enthusiasm is infectious. Before she herds us off to tour the facilities, we present her with a spray of orchids. She is delighted and laughs heartily at a funny comment.
She is part of the leadership team at the large facility which provides a pre-school for ~100 kids, a mother and baby home for ~12 women who have escaped abusive relationships and their babies and a shelter for ~65 young women who have been sexually abused and/or trafficked. They offer training programs in a variety of subjects and job skills.
They provide a special school for ~200 Pakistani refugees ages 10 to 18. While their kids are in school, the parents make soap on the premises to sell in hotel gift shops.
They also have a sewing center employing ~140 women, some from the shelters, some from the local slums. These women have a safe, clean place to work and earn reasonable wages.
I wonder how many people can work with such passion after 60 years on the job, enduring many hardships and without what many of us would consider basics. Yet she continues to be single focused on how can she make life better for marginalized people. Although she expects nothing in return, you can see how happy she is to accept the love from all around her.
Although few of us have committed to a life of such devotion, there are many lessons we can apply to our own lives of how to be happy after 60 years on the job. I think one of the first things Sister Louise would say is that it is not a job to her — it is her life’s calling and is a joy to be able to be focused on it every day.
We have begun fundraising for our May/June visit to more TWCCTW projects. I have committed to raising $1000 before the trip. If you’d like to help me achieve this goal, please go to http://twcctw.org/donate/ and enter my name in the notes section when you get to the PayPal page. Thanks!