What a Year at Caspari Has Meant to Me

When I was little over a month old, my parents and I moved to Jerusalem. My father being the international director of Caspari Center, we lived here for nearly ten years. Both my siblings where born in Jerusalem. When I was nine, what_a_year_at_caspari_has_meant_to_me_slideshowpic-optmy family and I moved to Chicago, Illinois, for three years, before finally moving to Norway, where both my parents are from. Ever since we left Israel, I had one mission: to return. And after seven long years of longing for Israel, I finally got the perfect opportunity: volunteering for Caspari Center.

Even though I had prepared myself for the possibility of my return being an emotional experience, I could not have foreseen the gravity of it. To this day I cannot explain the thoughts or feelings I had that first week. Overwhelming is the only word that comes close to describing what I felt. I believe that not being able to explain or understand the emotions made it all the more difficult. Finding myself back in the same apartment that I had grown up in as a child, moving into the same bedroom, and trying to get some sleep in the same bed was indeed all very overwhelming.

Luckily for me, there were only a few days till I started working at Caspari. The Caspari staff quickly became my spiritual family in Jerusalem. Starting off every workday with devotions together has been of tremendous comfort to me, and helped me – alongside everything else this year – to grow closer to the Lord. And most importantly, I was reminded that God is with me in all I dowhat_a_year_at_caspari_has_meant_to_me_smallpic-opt. Though I can’t explain how I felt that first week, I know that God understands: he was there with me through it all and still is. My coworkers were also there if I ever
needed to talk to someone; whether it was serious or not, there was always someone to talk to. Something that has meant a lot to me and other volunteers this year has been the fact that our voices are heard. From the day we started working, the Caspari staff wished for us to be independent and come up with ideas to improve Caspari with the talents we have.

This year has meant more to me identity-wise than any other year. I have grown in so many ways, and I can honestly say that I don’t remember a single year that can top this one when it comes to personal growth. My relationship with Israel is now so defined that I have finally found a space for it on the shelf, a place alongside everything else that makes me the person I am today. I know now where in my life it belongs, what role it plays, and where I can find it again. I am no longer scared that it will slip away or that I will not know where to find it, even if I leave it for a long time. It is now a permanent, unwavering part of me. Mission accomplished – and so much more.