photo courtesy of brenda burkholder

Norman's prayer card photo from his term of service

My name is Norman Chura. I am from Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

During my IVEP year I kept thinking about the polite ways to talk in Canada; it was too exaggerated for me, but now I know it helps a lot to soften relationships between people.

My boss, who later became my host, overcame my expectation about how much someone could care. The way his family treated me inspired me in the ways they became responsible and cared for someone they did not know much. They truly made feel at home and be loved and secure. That knowledge still comes to me every time I get the opportunity to meet someone I don’t know - I try to treat them as well as that family treated me.

God truly blessed me during my time in Saskatchewan putting awesome people in my way and somehow that help me to see that in this world, there are many kinds of us, but all have a purpose and have a reason to be here in the right time and moment.

I had to change my family three times. That was not planned, but I learned a lot more, living through it.  I met more people. At first it was shocking for me, but then I just tried to do my best, always trusting in God’s help that never fails me.

Thanks to a good family, I took some English courses all year around. I learned a lot, to speak, and write some words like the one you are reading now. While in Canada, I went through a hard time because of health concerns with my eye, but I never let this cover all the things I lived through there. Even though I experienced a crisis of faith, my faith was strengthened because of this.

Now, I work for a company that produces road design. When I started working for this company they were working with a partner, a company from south Korea, on a new city design and to know some English was a plus for me. Before this job, I worked as a waiter in a restaurant and got to meet foreign people. I treated them as I experienced being treated in Canada.

Love and care for others who are different from me, I live with it in my heart and head.