Magdala Volunteer - Ana Laura

June 25th, 2024
Ana Laura, Volunteer
Magdala Volunteer - Ana Laura

I will never forget the saying, "You reach heaven in a group,"

Hello, my name is Ana Laura. I am 22 years old and from a city in Guanajuato, Mexico. I was a volunteer in Magdala for a month in July 2023. Remembering that month makes me smile; it makes me miss it fondly. It's a hug you wish could last a lifetime. A month may seem short, but in the Holy Land, time is different. When you give yourself 100% to God, minutes don't pass as we're used to. The time I spent there I will treasure forever, with the hope of one day returning as a volunteer to that little piece of heaven where I received so many gifts.

A year ago, I had no idea about this place, what it was, or what I would be doing there. However, one thing I did not doubt when applying was that Jesus would be with me and that I would recognize Him in many places and meet people there. I was sure that once there, I would completely dedicate myself to any task given to me.

Volunteering involves much more than just serving; I understood this in my first days. Volunteering means loving; it means finding yourself in a community of volunteers who welcomed you as one of their own even before you arrived. We were a family and still are. Multiple nationalities gathered, having crossed oceans to help in any way needed, seeking a personal encounter with Jesus by giving their hearts.

My experience, like that of many other volunteers, was filled with excitement and eagerness from having seen so many beautiful places, learning about a culture different from what we were used to, and facing personal challenges that required stepping out of our comfort zones, but always seeking to experience the joy our hearts knew we would find as volunteers.

Everyone should experience the blessing of being part of a project that reflects Jesus's testimony, and I did as a volunteer in Magdala and the Encounter 2023. The opportunity to accompany many pilgrims in their encounter with God's love made me fill my heart and recharge any worn-out battery. It's a loving look at every brother who walks this Earth with their eyes firmly set on heaven.

I will never forget the saying, "You reach heaven in a group," because as long as we are pilgrims on Earth, there will always be a friend, brother, volunteer, or stranger to help you take the next step to reconnect with Jesus.