Cortina has taught me the importance of service. Not justice service, but what it means to go to the same service site, be with the same people, on a weekly basis. My weekly service site for the last three years, has been Restored Hope. Knowing that I get to spend time with the children at Restored Hope each week is what gets me out of my bed every Tuesday morning. I experience the heartbreak of the mothers and their children in the situations they are in. There is nothing more joyful than hearing the laughter of a child, playing hide and go seek for hours, or seeing a mother achieve her goals.
It is difficult to put into words how, not only returning to the same service site each week means a lot to both the kids and I, but returning semester after for the last 3 years. Restored Hope has taught me a lot about. It has taught me to be a role model, a teacher, a liberator, and it brings out the little kid inside me. From being a sophomore participant to being a senior formation group leader, I have grown. I have alongside the children and the mothers in multiple ways. Without Cortina I would not have encountered the place I get to be completely be myself at and my not yet my grown up self. I have learned more about the reality of life, by spending a couple of hours a week with the children at Restored Hope, than anywhere else. In the words of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ “Fall in Love, Stay in Love, and it will decide Everything.”
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.
Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ