“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” – Rabindranath Tagore
My name is Pearl Penumaka and I am the 2017-2018 volunteer with Phiren Amenca, through the Young Adults in Global Mission program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I was born in India and grew up in California, with a passion for books, traveling, cultural exchange and social justice.
Growing up in an Indian-American immigrant family, there was often a lot of pressure to follow specific career paths and higher education to achieve success. My family allowed me the freedom to pursue some different paths – creative and intellectual studies and hobbies. My mother told me, “whatever you do in this life, make sure that you are helping people.” After working in the non-profit sector in the United States for a few years, I decided to serve as a volunteer for this year to experience a deeper understanding of life in service to others, and life in pursuit of justice and change.
Phiren Amenca sees volunteerism as a powerful tool of social change. In the brief time I have been here, I can see that the dialogues about Roma rights and remembrance, dialogue between other cultures, and intentional and education volunteer programs will be life-changing and impactful. I look forward to being in service to this community and learning more about how the Phiren Amenca is active in the world to affect positive and sustainable change and empowerment.
Published at October 5, 2017
By Phiren Amenca