Choosing God's Choice
by Damaris Frick, International Headquarters
Not long ago, I went to my high school reunion back home in Germany. Many of my classmates I had not seen in years were there. They looked older and appeared to be living the middle-class lifestyle.
Damaris Frick, International Headquarters
Some were lawyers, doctors, engineers, managers; they seemed quite successful.
My classmates were catching up with each other, asking all the expected questions. 'So, Damaris, what are you doing?' I replied, 'Well ... I work as an emergency relief worker for The Salvation Army.' There was a stunned silence.
Why did I choose this career? The Salvation Army didn't force me; I actually persisted until The Salvation Army accepted me. I am honoured to have been one of the people chosen for a training course in emergency disaster services.
I am passionate about emergency disaster work. I won't pretend that I don't like a good adventure; that wouldn't be true. Actually, there is less adventure in my work than you might imagine. I keep track of finances, write reports, do a lot of computer work and spend many hours in discussion with local politicians and traders, sometimes with fruitless results.
Damaris distributing mosquito nets and blankets in a village affected by a cyclone in Myanmar
Damaris with children growing up in an IDP (internally displaced people) camp in Northern Uganda
I know, you'd like to hear about the adventure. For me, the adventure comes in travelling and seeing new places. But even travelling doesn't seem as glamorous when I don't see much of my friends and family. Being away from the comforts of home isn't easy either - I have to use pretty disgusting toilets. And I can't tell you how much I miss easy access to chocolate.
What is so great about my work? Maybe it's the attractive clothing I wear! (I wish I could look half as good in my field uniform as Angelina Jolie does in her khaki trousers ... although, the vests I wear are pretty nice.) The truth is I look rather dirty most of the time due to the dusty roads. The sun burns my nose and the malaria pills reduce the hair on my head.
So why do I do what I do? The reason is really very simple. I believe God gave me a passion for humanitarian work. I want to help bring justice to difficult situations. After a natural disaster, I want to give my help to helpless victims. I believe that if God gives me the passion to care for people, then it is my responsibility to be his hands, his mouth and his eyes.
I do this work because this is what God wants me to do. The adventures, the travelling and the cool outfit just come as a 'bonus'!