TRF’s Volunteer of the Month for August 2015 is retired teacher Marilou “Malou” Javier.
Q&A with MALOU
How did you come to volunteer for TRF?
Last summer, I searched for a non-government organization (NGO) via Internet to find an institution where I can serve in Christian missions. Incidentally, I had a chat with Ms. Michal Pasaporte, an on-line friend, who happened to be my former student in the School of Tomorrow (SOT) Philippines. She was the channel of blessing who gave me knowledge about TRF. I admire this organization and got interested to apply personally as a volunteer.
What were your expectations as a volunteer?
My expectations were to be able to spend my time meaningfully in Christian missions, especially to orphans and widows and to learn new things of giving tender loving care to the elderly and patients with cancer.
Describe the activities you volunteered for, and why did you choose them?
Actually, I was willing to do any activity that is related to teaching, guidance, and things spiritual in nature because of my background in psychology and education. I like how TRF puts to work the ‘Happy Room’ Projects. Maybe someday, I will share in the gardening efforts aside from doing spiritual things like praying and giving encouragement.
What are your key reflections/lessons? How has the experience changed your life?
Life is short and death is certain. Therefore, seize every opportunity to do things that really matter. Spell love as T-I-M-E. I salute family members of patients who put high priority on being with their loved ones in moments when they need palliative care.
Faith is the substance of things we hope for. When we pray, we humble ourselves to our Creator. We depend on Him for ultimate healing.
Communicate effectively, both verbally and non-verbally. I learned that while massage is considered a luxury to some; it is an essential touch to people who need comfort.
Encourage other people to volunteer, to help in any good way. It is a way of giving thanks and allowing one’s self to be a blessing to others.
My experience with TRF has led me to more lessons on patience, appreciating the medical field (Doctors and other medical practitioners are interesting. I think I need to learn some of their jargon), and commitment to a prayerful life. It changed my life from being frantic to being at peace and being totally present where I am, taking time to listen carefully.