“How often I still only see the surface in my own life and those I come in contact with,” reflected missioner Michael Redell after learning more about the lives — and homes — of the people he serves in Bolivia.

Women and children at a health workshop

His ministry with a mobile hospital in rural areas outside of Cochabamba became an eye-opening experience when he and a group of workers walked from house to house to collect family information and medical history.

“This has been one of those experiences that will forever impact my life and has altered, in its own way, the way I see the world. I guess I wasn’t quite ready, or rather caught off guard, to meet the people face to face, that before, had only been statistics in books for me.

The weighted true reality hit me as house after house I heard heartbreaking stories — and not only the fact that these stories were real from people I was spending time with, but the appearance of acceptance or normality to these sub-human conditions.

This experience left me pondering many things and I left feeling helpless and deeply saddened. I had been to these same communities a number of times, but now I had an understanding of these places that was beneath the surface.”

Read more about Michael’s life-changing experience on his blog.

When was a time when you went beneath the surface and learned more about a person? How did it change your perspective?