It all started with a little email: “By the way, have been thinking about you a ton! How are you doing? Also, if you’re around next weekend, want to come out and check out our kids’ ministry in Newark? We’re going in that afternoon for some extra fun, lovin, and teachin. Let me know!”
Time with a good friend and doing some good things- Yes, I’m there!
A little bit about the Relief Bus, the non-profit who organizes these services. Each week, the bus travels to areas of need in New York City, as well as a few urban Jersey sites. The volunteers provide food and other necessities, as well as information about services that could be beneficial. By building relationships with the people they serve, they become trusted supporters.
The kids ministry, as Kelly mentioned, is new. We went and sent up tables on a street corner, having crafts and puzzles to do, as well as food and drink, and people to talk to. I played quite a few games of Guess Who, blew (and spilled) bubbles, drew with chalk and hula hooped.
For me, this experience made me realize how much I need the poor in my life. I understand that this may sound privileged or strange. What I mean by this is being surrounded with others who have different life stories, hardships, and joys which reinforces a sense of community for me that is so vital. I could easily never spend time with some of the people I met, but through that experience, I feel a deeper sense of belonging in this world. If I can talk to a girl who’s aunt died in a violent rage, or a woman who views the world differently than I, and still learn from them, then I am learning. I am most fully alive.
From a young age, I’ve been called to do service. As young as 14 I knew that I wanted to be involved in a year long service year. I tell you that I need this. There is something so deep within me that calls me to be with others. It’s been nine months since I stopped teaching ESL in that same city. I need service. I need others.Therefore, I will continue to search to find how I can best share some of my gifts with others. For I know I need these things because it is there that I truly find myself.