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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My Journey to a Soul Searching



I know I had promised you to write regularly, and I broke my promise. Don’t sue me please.

The truth is that, even though I had a lot of things I wanted to write about, I was not inspired to do it (until today).

I have been on a journey of soul searching/God seeking moments that lead to a three day retreat in Niagara Falls away from everything (it felt weird not looking at my phone every 5 seconds as I used to).

When you reach a certain age (thanks by the way for your birthday wishes), you start having different questions about life (at least, it is my case).

Just the other day, I was with my good friend Elvis, and I told him that in a near future I am going to be so rich that it will be so ridiculous. I didn’t explain to him why I said that (my thinking was that there is no way I can face what I have faced and not be compensated one way or another). Elvis replied: I think you are so rich beyond measure, but you haven’t realized it yet”.

I remained silent for a moment, but I kept thinking about his statement.

One of my mentors was asked to define the word “Pastor”, and he said this (I am paraphrasing here): A Pastor is someone who has only one blow of air available to him and is asked by someone whose finger is burning to sooth his suffering by blowing his one and only blow of air. The Pastor then decides to help and heal the finger while his own entire hand is burning. He then turns to God asking Him to sooth his suffering hand.

I thought this definition was spot on. And if this definition is true, I have been a Pastor for many years haha.

I cannot tell you how many people I have helped in the last 15 years in Canada, all the time thinking “I need help too”.

In my soul searching, I wanted to know why I was not getting blessed the way people I am helping are getting blessed. My thinking was wrong. Thank God Elvis was there to remind me how rich I am. Counting my blessings has been such a blessing in itself
Just yesterday, as I was doing my soul searching thing again, I had an “aha” moment. It was so powerful that I kept thinking about it the entire day. I realized that my calling is to be a Humanitarian. The best definition I have found is: Humanitarian: pertaining to the saving of human lives or to the alleviation of suffering

I am committed for the rest of my life to be a humanitarian.

The events of the last few months have confirmed my new commitment.

Here is what happened:

A coworker of mine sent me an email letting me know that someone had approached her seeking for help to conduct humanitarian projects in Africa. She thought I could be of assistance. I saw the email, but somehow I did not respond to it. I don’t even know why.

A few weeks went by. Another coworker came to me and said. I met a very interesting guy; I think you should meet him. Here is his phone number. She was talking about the same guy I read about in the email. I took the phone number, but I did not call. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea.

Another few weeks went by. Then, I organized an event, and the guy sent me an email saying that he would attend. I thought to myself: I get to finally meet him. Guess what! The guy did not show up at my event. He had heard the news that there was going to be heavy rains in Toronto that day ( I hate the news! Haha).

A few weeks went by. I finally met him.

A few days before our meeting, I had started my soul searching trying to figure out what I should do with my life.

My new friend explained to me what he had been doing for the last few years helping Burundian refugees in Uganda, and I was blown away. He did such a tremendous work using his own (very limited) money. Before he finished his talk, I stopped him and said to him: You got yourself a partner. I shook his hand and knew without a doubt that I have found what my next chapter will be.
I went home that day and prayed. My prayer was simple: “God, I won’t move until you move. Show me the way and I will do the work”

We committed to meet once a week to brainstorm about how we would proceed. After a few meetings, we realized that the best way to go was to create a Not for Profit Organization that would run the humanitarian projects. I have helped countless people to create their organizations; it was high time I used this skill to something that is close to my heart.

The very first person I approached about joining the Board of Directors said no, but he promised to help financially and ask his friends to do so. It was a good start.

At this moment, we have all the members we need and the application to register the organization is done.

Then, something amazing happened last week. I was speaking with my friend Chris on some projects we are doing together, then he mentioned about a project he had started in Pakistan and the Philippines. It is very impressive. I saw a way to duplicate the same project in Uganda to help the refugees down there. He was as excited as I was.

Yesterday, we had our first technical meeting and we know EXACTLY what we want to do. I couldn’t sleep last night. I have this excitement that I haven’t had for a very long time. This is my one (and only) blow of air to sooth the suffering refugees from my country while waiting for God to heal my entire hand.

Very soon I will call you to join me

Aren’t you glad that you are so exhausted from reading this long blog ?

Moral of the story? Do you want to be a humanitarian? Just burn your hand and you will help someone to heal his finger

Always a pleasure

Patrick

The Journeyman.

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