Lucy Ulferts of Echo and a recent graduate of the ECHO Charter School is currently serving on the mission field in La Pintana (near Santiago), Chile as part of an organization known as House of Hope.
Started by Tom Orme in the 1990s, the concept known as the Vision for Chile answered the call to “look after orphans in their distress.”
Ulferts, who had the opportunity to serve on a short-term missions trip in 2015 with other members of the Echo Alliance Church, opted in 2017 to return for a longer stay.
What follows is a question and answer interview conducted with Ulferts via e-mail from Chile.
What are you doing in Chile? What is your title and what are your roles?
I’m a volunteer at the House of Hope. I am helping with various tasks from chores to media.
How did you find out about the program you are involved in?
I found out about the House of Hope at a church member’s house. We had a hayride and a bonfire, and Tom Orme was there to speak.
Why did you want to participate in the program?
I wanted to go on a small missions trip our church was planning, and we chose to go there. I came a second time because I missed being there. I made a promise I would return, and I wanted to before I started doing other things in life such as getting a job, a car, etc.
What do you hope to accomplish personally as a result of this experience?
I want to be closer to Christ and learn how to be more independent.
How is this experience different than the trip (to Chile) you took with the church a couple of years ago?
I don’t have any teams to work with, so my jobs are different than everyone else’s. All of the girls are different as well, which was hard to get used to at first because they’re more subdued.
How does what you are doing fit in with your long-term goals?
It’s helping me get used to being away from home and seeing what it’s like to keep busy and run a house instead of just being present while parents do most of the work.
What do you think is the most significant lesson you have learned so far?
Patience. I like to work alone, so when I have to work with someone I need to be patient.
What have you enjoyed most about what you have been doing?
I enjoy making new friends and learning about them. Whenever I am able to have a one-on-one conversation it’s a treat.
Have you done something during this experience that you had never done before? How has that impacted you?
I had my birthday and Christmas away from home. It was hard to stay cheerful, especially on my birthday, but Christmas turned out better than I thought it would.
How has your faith grown as a result of this opportunity?
I’m trusting God when it comes to patience and staying positive. It’s coming along slowly, but I think that eventually I will be feeling much better.
To learn more about the House of Hope, Vision for Chile and the work people such as Ulferts are doing as part of the mission in Chile, visit visionforchildren.net.