My name is Rosa and I’m from Burnaby, BC. I go to Southside Community Church with my family, and I also go to a youth group at my church. My youth leader was the one who encouraged all of my friends and I to go experience SERVE.
Now that I’ve been, I can say how awesome it is. I was really impressed.
I felt like I really learned the value of the services we were doing for the community of Victoria. Most of the jobs and work we were doing could have cost a lot of money. We experienced new opportunities while blessing the community. And we were glorifying God through it all, which I’ve learned is the most important thing.
When we were working hard and volunteering our time and energy to help people, it wasn’t always easy or comfortable. But the people we were helping were so grateful, so the work felt easier and it wasn’t hard to give up some of our comforts.
After we finished our outreach work each day, we would gather with all the other youth from all the different churches and sing worship songs together, and listen to Sid Koop teach. We all bonded really well and everyone felt included. It was always a special time.
We experienced new opportunities while blessing the community. And we were glorifying God through it all, which I’ve learned is the most important thing.
Since my experience at SERVE, I feel like my perspective has changed. Instead of looking at the week ahead of us filling with difficult work and hard things, I saw a week of serving communities, serving God, and working together. And now I’m able to use that perspective in my life going forward, as I face many more weeks of hard work and choose to pursue them with joy.
SERVE also changed my way of thinking about some people that I’d known for a long time! I have one friend from youth group, for example, who I’ve known my entire life. We grew up going to the same church, but it wasn’t until our SERVE trip that I actually got to sit down and have a conversation with her, not just in passing. I found out a lot of things I never knew and we’ve definitely become closer friends. It feels amazing to have gained a “new” friend!
I am so grateful for everything that SERVE taught me this summer, and for the chance to give the gift of service to people in need. Most of all, I’m grateful for my renewed relationship with Christ. I’ve always been a Christian and I’ve asked Jesus into my life, but before SERVE it felt like I only followed Jesus one day of the week: Sunday at church. SERVE gave me the desire to follow Jesus every day of my life. And it’s not just that I want to follow Jesus, I’ve come to realize that I need Jesus in my life.
I am definitely interested in SERVE next year, and it would be great to see all the familiar and new faces and experience the same type of awesome week in a new place.