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Building a House, Making a Home

“And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6.9 More than a decade has passed since the Religious Youth Service (RYS) did an overly ambitious service project in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The 70 youths who had gathered from […]

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Tragedy and Revival in Honduras

A story by: John W. Gehring    Hurricane Mitch’s Knockout Punch Months after Hurricane Mitch ravaged Honduras, forty volunteers from fifteen nations arrived in the capital city of Tegucigalpa as part of a cross-cultural service project of the Religious Youth Service or more simply, RYS. During the following weeks of service the media regularly covered […]

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A Safe Haven in Australia 

The following story is part 2 of The Wonder of the Power of One – A story by John W. Gehring “We don’t invent our mission; we detect it. It is within us waiting to be realized.”    —Viktor Frankl Each person is capable of achieving greatness. Embodying a virtuous character has much more to do with personal greatness […]

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The Wonder of the Power of One

 Part 1.  Aboriginal Angst A story by John W. Gehring The power of one person to effect change should not be underestimated. Exceptional leaders often transcend humble and challenging circumstances to arrive at a destination otherwise thought to be unreachable. Michael Jarrett, an Aboriginal man from Nambucca Heights, Australia was a person who coupled his […]

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An Orphanage Like No Other

Part 1 of Walking the Path of a Peacemaker shows how David’s sincere heart of service helped move the hearts of the villagers in Karukutty, India. In Part 2, we follow how the inspiration David found in India served as a springboard for organizing RYS in his hometown of Birmingham and his eventual return to […]

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RYS – Walking the Path of a Peacemaker

Part 1 of a 2 part RYS story by John Gerhing Tall, lean, blue-eyed and English, David was not afraid of hard work or creative approaches to dealing with problems. He invested himself to earn his Ph.D. but never let that achievement put a distance between himself and those he met. David possessed a gift […]

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Das Marinas, Philippines

Death as the Terrible Alternative

An RYS story by John W. Gehring A Time of Political and Social Transition During the closing years of General Marcos’s rule in the Philippines, in an act based on political calculation, many families living on squatted land in Manila were forcibly relocated in an effort to avoid civil strife. Das Marinas, a small coastal […]

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Creating Peace in Troubled Times

During December 1992, at the height of religious conflict in India, I was there representing the Religious Youth Service (RYS) and preparing a series of events in multiple cities aimed at promoting interreligious harmony. Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy of nonviolence helped stimulate the gigantic nations’ march forward on its path to political independence from […]

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Coffee Pots of Hope

“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin ~ When Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union went through their period of transition, the glue that held Yugoslavia together came apart. Formed by a treaty after World War I, the nation of Yugoslavia had been glued together […]

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RYS: In the Spirit of Service – part 2

In Part 1, we were introduced to Fr. Nithiya while he was working on an RYS project during the period of transition in post-communist Hungary. In Part 2, Fr. Nithiya returns inspired to India and helps launch service initiatives and programs reaching the poorest of the poor and receives personal encouragement from Mother Teresa.  Service […]

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