Expanding Into the Unknown

Brian Riefler - Ecuador


July 10, 2012

If you told me last year I would wind up volunteering in Ecuador for 8 months, I would have said that you were crazy. I think things happen in life for a reason, and I believe Global Citizen Year is my higher calling to grow further as a “man for others.” I first heard my call to service on a Buffalo immersion trip last June. I not only witnessed a physical transformation of the Habitat for Humanity house we worked on, but I also recognized a spiritual transformation within myself. Seeing the poverty around me, I realized that I take much for granted. My campus minister recently posed a profound reflection that drove this point home for me. He showed a picture of a boy named Moses in Nicaragua, whose chances of finishing school are slim. Why was I born here as opposed to in Nicaragua like Moses? Food for thought…

I don’t exactly know what this year will bring. I’m not going to lie, I’m scared as hell. A great piece of advice a friend told me was that a lot of people like to step outside their comfort zones, but the thing they should be doing is expanding their comfort zones. The former implies they can easily step back inside their comfort zone and be forever clung to their fears and inhibitions. I am blessed with an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the world, and I do not want to let down all the people who are supporting me. I am so grateful for my family, friends, and Canisius High School for getting me here, and know that you are all part of this journey with me. Until next time!

Brian Riefler