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  • Paul D., NCMI

Full Circle

One of our wonderful volunteers just completed her season of service with Machaseh. We share her story now, using excerpts from a recent interview by NCMI Jerusalem's Paul Danielsson:

"Working as a volunteer felt natural, but being in Israel is probably more special for Ellisiv than for most people. This is the place where she was born and spent the first seven years of her life when her father was a leader at the Caspari Center. Crucial to Ellisiv Masvie's choice to become a volunteer was that her sister was also one, and more specifically she was a volunteer in Jerusalem: – When I saw how Maria worked and lived here, I felt this was something I would also like to do, she tells me enthusiastically.

Today, this young girl works for Machaseh at the Kings of Kings Distribution Center. Here they hand out everything from rice, sugar, and washing-up liquid through to donated clothes, to people in need that literally come in straight from the street. Everyone is welcome. All days are different, Ellisiv says: Sometimes there may be as many as twenty-two while on other days no one, some people want to stay for a while to talk while others come in quickly to soon leave again. She also sees a huge variety of those who come, not everyone is comfortable with receiving help. Some are very open and happy and grateful for the help, and then there are others, such as orthodox Jews, who may find it difficult.

Ellisiv thinks it's striking how generous people in Jerusalem are and how far they seem willing to go for a fellow human and not just for each other: – Even though many of those who give us things don’t know who we are or what we stand for, they still donate. – I am very happy to work with something important and where I’m needed. In fact, it is an operation that fights for its existence day by day. I have three days a week at the center and one day a week as an English teacher for Ethiopian children.

As an adult, Ellisiv has also been in Japan as a volunteer at a Bible school for one and a half years, where she, among other things, helped homeless people and worked with young people. She has also studied the history of ideas in Italy. ”Home”, however, is Oslo, and this the 21-year-old says without hesitation, and that's where she will return after her time as a volunteer:– As a multicultural child who has grown up in several countries, I wonder, of course, where I belong. Now I have moved around so much that I want to set down my roots. In Oslo I have my mom and dad and that’s where I have my friends.


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