I have been poking around the Internet lately, trying to find organizations that offer opportunities to volunteer/serve/minister (pick a word) as a family. Can’t find anything. Well, not anything that fits OUR family. Here’s the backgound to my present quandary…

Just after Christmas, my family, along with several other families, teens, and various other non-attached people, took a bus trip to Mexico. The purpose of said trip was to build a school in a village called Maneadero. This was our second trip with an organization called True North Helping Hands. So… that’s what we did, and it was wonderful.

Since returning home, however, I have been a little blue. I was visiting with a good friend who was also on the trip, and we started comparing feelings. Freakishly similar.

Both of us talked about feeling that “there’s got to be more to it than this” feeling. That “what next?” feeling. That “how else can I serve the Lord by serving humanity?” feeling.

Now I realize that there are many service opportunities right here at home, and we try to do what we can in our neighbourhood. But our friends and we have made a commitment to try and do some kind of beneficial work each year (God willing, of course). Something that we can do together as families that uses the talents of our family members. We are more doing families than, say, teaching families. So the build-a-school-in-Mexico thing has been great. But we thought we might like to explore some other options, closer to home.

These are my requirements (I won’t speak for my friend):

1. Something that involves helping others.

2. Something that will be a good experience for my kids. By that I mean both the work experience, and the location experience. For example, in Mexico the kids were able to learn some building skills and contribute in other specific ways to the project, while getting the benefit of the cultural experience as well. A twofer.

3. Something we can afford to do. We can’t afford to fly to Africa, although that would be awesome!

4. Something, probably, in Canada. This is because Canadians are now required to hold passports when entering the U.S., and any foster children we might have would most likely not have passports.

We were hoping to find some kind of organization out there that we could just sign up with, but… nada. If there is, I haven’t been able to find it. If you know of any, please let me know. However, since I haven’t found anything to tap into, I’m starting to consider creating my own. I mean, it’s not like there aren’t needs out there. I’ll let you know how it goes. And if you have any ideas, send them along my way. That’d really be great.