A volunteering story by: Jessica Smith

Jack went on a mission trip to San Francisco with his local church. Their goal was to provide for the less fortunate, as well as pray over them. They spent all day, morning to night, doing various activities to help out many different people throughout the city. They began with helping out different schools around the area. Jack met children and teachers whom were very grateful they were there to help. They brought different supplies and necessities to the schools that were in need. Jack and other volunteers then went around the city donating different things to the homeless. They brought them blankets, food and water, and even bibles. Although some were taken aback by the generous acts of kindness, the majority of them were extremely grateful. Jack lead many prayers over the homeless people. This was The part that definitely was the most impactful for most of those involved. Jack said,” my favorite part of the whole journey was praying over the homeless people. A lot of them felt unworthy or unaccepted by many, but I was proud to tell them it wasn’t true. Most of them were very grateful for our donations and words, and I loved that.” Although it was a very long day for them, Jack felt he fulfilled his task, and had an amazing time while doing it. He was so thankful that Golden Hills gave him the oppurtunity to feel such a rewarding feeling after participating.

The Inspiration

Jack had always been raised in the church and with people that do community service often. A major part of his beliefs is a requirement or hope that they will give back to the community, which inspired him to volunteer. ” I was in leadership for church, which meant I was there often, and they advertised this mission trip a lot. I always wanted to do mission work, but I usually pictured it being in a third world country or some place far away. At first it felt like I sort of settled because I was so close to home, and I go there all the time, but I soon realized it was where I was supposed to be. It truly changed my life and I am thankful for those who inspired me to volunteer,” Jack said. Church has always been a huge part in Jack’s life, so volunteer work is a norm. He had been inspired by many people in the church to take part in this particular task. Jack has a huge heart and giving back is something he always looks forward to doing. He was inspired by friends and loved ones that introduced him to it. Kyle and Justin, his leaders and pastors, were a huge part in inspiring to do it as well. They told him he would be a perfect fit, so he accepted the challenge and was forever changed for it. Jack was inspired by many people who believed he could make a change, and he did just that. “Partaking in this mission work was one of the best things I have ever done,” says Jack.

The Aha! moment…

This experience was especially emotional for Jack. Throughout the entire day he felt moved and inspired. He learned so much in the little time he volunteered. It was one of the first times he’s ever actually prayed over a stranger before. He’s use to praying, but to pray over a homeless person is a bit scary because no one knows how they may react to it. “It was so nerve wracking, but I knew these people needed to be enlightened. God put it on my heart to do it, so I did. I am so happy I did it because it was one of the best feelings I have ever felt. To experience that is indescribable,” said Jack. This not only helped him learn that giving, even words, to other people has such a great reward, but it also helped him to begin to share with strangers he may not have before. It was an eye opening trip for him. He gained so much knowledge from joining in on this community service in many different ways. Jack learned also that he truly enjoys sharing and giving to the less fortunate. He now looks forward to his future mission trips and he hopes they can live up to this amazing experience he participated in.

To summarize it in three words…

  • Incredible, enjoyable, rewarding

Why should you do this

He really does reccomend volunteering because it is such a great, rewarding feeling. Jack described the volunteer work as a feeling he had never felt before, but he wanted to make sure others could feel it too. He wants people to be able to participate in such an incredible journey much like the one he was able to. Mission work changed his life in such an extreme way, and he truly hopes others will eventually get the same oppurtunity. Jack said,” If you have even five minutes, try and give back to the community in a way you might not have before. I promise you, it’ll make you feel like you never have.”

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