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A Life-Changing Journey: My Experience at HMA Maui

Last year, I had the opportunity to serve as a taskforce worker at HMA Maui. When I arrived on the beautiful island in June 2022, I had no idea what to expect. I was filled with mixed emotions of excitement and fear, doubting my abilities and fearing that I wouldn’t be enough for the kids or the mission God had called me for. The only thing I knew for certain was that God had brought me to the island for a purpose greater than my fears. This reminded me to put my faith and trust in Him, knowing that He would do the rest.

Once the school year began, I quickly realized that I was embarking on a great adventure, one that I knew I would never forget but that would prove challenging. As I started working with Mrs. Williams, Mr.Katada, and Ms.Tucker, I understood that God had surrounded me with people who would teach me new things about myself and how to be a better teacher for the kids. They reminded me once again that I was not alone, and that God was looking out for me even when I did not see or feel it.

Working with the children of HMA Maui was and will always be one of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced. The kids captured my heart and filled it with love and joy in a way I had never experienced before. They compelled me to learn and grow every single day, pushing me to become a better person and step outside my comfort zone. They taught me to see life through a new lens and opened my eyes to the little blessings that God sends us every single day.

From lesson planning to teaching, driving kids around, going on field trips, organizing Christmas programs, planning for May Day, and all the little moments in between, HMA Maui left a permanent mark on my life. I know that I left the beautiful island of Maui as a very different person than the one who arrived in June 2022. Now, I get to share that new version, inspired by all the lessons and love from the kids, with everyone I encounter and wherever I go.

I miss the children every single day, and I will always carry a piece of them with me in my heart. I’ll forever be grateful for HMA Maui and the experience of a lifetime!


Vany Carballo 

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