Although I came to the week of service at Good Works expecting to be a blessing to others, I was unaware how much blessing I would receive throughout the week. This has been an eye-opening and encouraging experience that has affected my view of both God and man as well as challenged me in the way I view service. Altogether, I would say I was changed for the better during this week.
My time spent with Kids Discovery Club was a great experience. Although I’m not the most outgoing person, I was able to form relationships with the kids by playing with them. Even though I always left sweaty and tired from running around with the kids, I always left feeling uplifted. I know that the kids had a positive experience on me, and I hope that their energy and innocence has sparked something in me to reenergize my faith and my works of service going forward. I also think that I was able to have a positive effect on the children. They were sad to see me go and a few of them were insistent that I try to come back next year to play with them again.
In addition to the kids in the Discovery Club, I was also able to develop deep relationships with a lot of other people. Each morning and evening with all of the people in the Hannah House was always a very enjoyable and uplifting experience. The interns were all great in their interactions with everyone and handling any difficulties that arose. I sincerely enjoyed interacting with each of them and I’m sure that the group did as well. I also greatly enjoyed the group from Germantown UMC. Both the adults and the youth were always a pleasure to interact with. I was blown away by the level of service that the group provided and easily forgot that they were teenagers as they often seemed like adults.
My time at the Timothy House was also a good experience. It was a bit awkward for part of the time when the residents who were around were not talking much, but I enjoyed the interactions that I was able to have. Playing games with Lonnie was fun and seemed to bring him out of his shell more than just trying to talk to him, which was very helpful. I also greatly enjoyed talking to Bill. We were able to relate to each other through a mutual enjoyment of sports and history that we were able to bond over. I was very encouraged to see the people coming out of bad circumstances and rebuilding their lives. I could really see Good Works living out its mission through this work.
I enjoyed all of my interactions with the staff at Good Works as well. Everyone seemed to be genuinely concerned with service and to have a burden for those they were serving. I learned a lot from everyone I interacted with and was encouraged by their hearts for service.
This week has changed my view of service in ways that I hope I will continue to practice in the future. Service does not just mean doing something for someone; it often means doing something with someone. In my dealings with people in need, I need to instill a sense of respect and build community with the people that I am serving. I also need to understand the importance of letting them serve and allowing them to be a blessing to me in order to build them up.
This week has been an incredible experience, and I can sincerely say that it will be hard to leave and say goodbye to everyone that I have formed relationships with throughout my time here. As I leave, although I may not start a Good Works caliber ministry program, I know I need to incorporate the lessons I learned here into my works of service in the future and spread the messages into my community. I am so thankful for the time that I was able to spend here and I hope to connect with Good Works again in the future.