Be The Light | 2018 Philippines Retreat

Humanity. Where have we gone? What are we doing? That’s exactly why I picked this trip.

“We need a personal trainer, a nutritionist, and a massage therapist,” Lorrie Lindgren stood in front of my church requesting. I looked around from right to left and wondered who in the elderly-populated church that I go to would be able to provide that. Then I looked up and realized it was me.

5 months later, I am on a plane questioning humanity after recent events, trying to hit the reset button on my life.

“I hate humans,” I often hear people say. The number one rule I learned in my college sociology class is that we need other people to survive. So how, in a culture of racism, sexual objectification, classism, sexism, and many other hateful deterrents, do we do this? How do we wander through a world where we are taught to stomp on each other to get what we want?

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

We have to be the light. In a world of chaos and darkness, we combat the darkness by being the light. It doesn’t take much. Simple gestures that I saw around me on my flight to the Philippines. Donating silverware to the man who dropped his on the ground, letting the lady beside you use your shoulder as a pillow, holding a hand when people are scared of turbulence… all kind gestures that surrounded me on the airplane where strangers become neighbors and neighbors become friends.  

Be the example. This is why I came to serve at the Thrive retreat in the Philippines. Be the example that you wish to see in the world… and we’ve only just begun. I can’t wait until we hit the ground in Bohol and see what else God has before us. Humanity can be good. We just collectively have to make that choice.


–Katie Kolakowski, first-time Thrive volunteer



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