My youngest brother Ty works for the Humanitarian Department for our church. He is an amazing man and one with great compassion, which makes him perfect for the job. He also is very well educated and speaks many languages.
When he was a small boy, I used to have him help me with my homework ( that's sad...I know, but a girl has to do...what a girl has to do ). Never mind that he is 10 years younger than me! Shhhh...we don't want that to get around! :)
I have always looked up to him, even though he is younger. He is strong in his faith and lives exactly what he believes, you don't see that often enough, in today's world.
He just recently went to Peru, for one of the humanitarian projects, and I asked him when he got back, if he would send me photos or information about what he did. Mainly so we as a family, could share in his experience. Here is the article that he sent me. It made me feel grateful for all my many blessings, plus it also touched my heart to see such amazingly strong and faithful people.
Service and gratitude fueled recovery in quake-weary Peru
By Jason Swensen
Published: Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010
Church members in Pisco, Peru, and neighboring cities will tell you they've lived two distinct lives: before and then after Aug. 15, 2007. On that date a massive 8.0-magnitude quake devastated several cities in southern Peru, claiming hundreds of lives and thousands of homes.
Photo by Jason Swensen
Church Welfare Services worker Ty Johnson, far right, speaks with members Eduardo and Sonia Torres outside their new home in Chincha, Peru. The Torres' lost their 2-year-old daughter, Jessica, in the 2007 quake. Their home was also destroyed.
The quake remains a defining event for members here. They look back on the catastrophe with equal parts grief and gratitude. Grief for those who were lost. And gratitude for the many who enlisted faith, service, hard work, priesthood principles and Relief Society resourcefulness so others might endure and emerge, both physically and spiritually, from a monumental disaster.
"There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? " ~ Leo Buscaglia
"There's no disaster that can't become a blessing, and no blessing that can't become a disaster" ~ Richard Bach
"Knowledge is going to make you stronger. Knowledge is going to let you control your life. Knowledge is going to give you the wisdom to teach their children. Knowledge is the thing that makes you smile in the face of disaster." ~Avery Brooks