Beautifully Imperfect: One Volunteer’s Story

A moving story of an imperfect day that turned into a life changing experience and a lasting friendship

By: Lisa Mularski (Volunteer at World Relief Spokane) 

Looking back, you can probably identify the times in your life when your path has changed directions. Chances are, at these bends in the road, something memorable has happened that has forever altered how you view the world. I can certainly remember these times: I remember meeting my husband, holding my kids for the first time, and walking them to their first day of first grade.  However, whenever I stop to think about these moments I often forget that, thoLisa and the Motherugh they were beautiful, they were also encased in imperfection. I met my husband while working for the city park department. I was cleaning a bathroom…how romantic right? The first time I held my little girl she was screaming (LOUDLY). When I walked my sweet little boy to first grade he begged me not to make him go. Meeting my dear friend Bushra was one of these beautifully imperfect days.

I was recovering from the stomach flu and had not eaten in about 48 hours.  I was determined not to miss our first meeting.  We had worked so hard to schedule it and I didn’t want to let anyone down.  As we walked to the front door, my stomach moved and, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if the flu had returned or I was just nervous.  I was thinking what am I doing here?  I ran a quick inventory of the skills that I had to do this and came up empty.  But here comes the beautiful part. Bushra opened the door with the smile I have now come to love and welcomed me into her home. As we talked, she was more comfortable than I was even though English is her second language. Did I mention English is my ONLY language and it failed me miserably on that day? But, you know what? My journey with World Relief has been filled with second chances.  If I keep trying, it never fails that something beautiful happens.

It is beautiful when someone calls you their angel because you bring over a pair of used tennis shoes. I’m pretty sure angels do not bring over used tennis shoes, but I digress. It is beautiful when this same family invites you to their daughter’s birthday party and introduces you to a feast that they spent ALL DAY preparing. It is beautiful when someone trusts you enough to cry with you because they miss their family and their former home while, at the same time, feeling so thankful that they are here with you. It is beautiful when you celebrate the first interview, the first job, and most importantly the first paycheck. It is beautiful when a five year old’s first English words are “Lisa come on”. This is what my life with my new friends has been: life changing, memorable, beautiful imperfection.

We would love to see you at a volunteer orientation! Join us and learn how volunteering at World Relief Spokane could change your life –


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