By Mike Van Buskirk
One of the greatest gifts you can give a person is not a material thing, but something far more valuable…a sense of purpose. Life void of meaning is one of the preeminent plagues of our time; just look at how it affects our young people. A sense of hopelessness, and no direction in life leads to so many of our social woes, and Sikkim certainty isn’t exempt. Drug addiction, poor performance in school, unemployment, teen pregnancies, suicide, and many other problems can often be traced back to that undercurrent of purposelessness.
Not only young people, but adults alike can be burdened and overwhelmed by this bitter feeling. It leaves so many in our communities bound by alcohol, which in turn leads to domestic abuse and violence, and the sick-cycle continues. Others have thought their purpose could be found in acquiring more wealth, but they too learn that greed and the love of money is a dead-end. The point is simple: people need a purpose, and it needs to be something worth living for.
Every year, we conduct 3 months of training, called Ambassador Academy- Sikkim. During these three months we invest time, energy, and resources on the select ones who become our students. This year we’ve received students from as far away as Rajasthan, and from neighboring places like Kalimpong in West Bengal. Our students come from various walks of life and have varying experience; some are illiterate and completely uneducated, coming from villages rattled with poverty. Others come from more affluent backgrounds. They’re all different, but they’re all alike…
They’ve all come to receive clarity from God for their life’s purpose. Why was I born? What’s the purpose of my life? What happens when I die? These and many other questions that leave so many in uncertainty are all answered. Our students learn that they are not on this planet just to take up space, to try to earn a living, to eat, sleep, breathe and die. They’re here for a divine purpose. A purpose that transcends this life and prepares them for the life to come, a purpose worth living for.
Mike Van Buskirk is an American native married to a Sikkimese girl. Mike runs ‘Embassy of Hope’, an NGO in Gangtok.To read more posts by/on Mike click on the links below:
An American in Sikkim
The Ambassador of Hope