Helping feels good (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

Spring break:  Beaches, road trips, a week relaxing at home with the family.


Week of Evangelism:  Beaches (yes, a group went to Hawaii), road trips, a week of spending time with friends and school mates to help people that need it.

Week of Evangelism (Week of E) came around every spring, at about the same time other schools were having spring break.  And honestly, it looks the same from one perspective:  the campus is empty, except for some of the staff.  But at Ozark, we were out helping people.

One year, I went to a children's home and helped out as a relief worker, giving house parents a little time to themselves.  I also spent an afternoon cleaning the inside of an oven in the multipurpose building.

Another year, I went to a wilderness retreat center and helped build a new house for the family that lived on site.  I cut dry wall, nailed it to the studs, mudded, and sanded.  I hope the house turned out okay because most of us working that week had never done it before!

The farthest I ever went for Week of E was to Chicago.  It was a great trip with a little sightseeing, but not much.  Mostly we worked.  Half of our group worked with the boot camp that was for elementary and junior high age children.  The goal was to teach them a little discipline and give them some confidence.  The last day of the boot camp, they broke small planks of wood with their hands!

The other half of our group worked with the high school kids.  The school they attended required community service hours, so our job was to help.  We cleaned up an old church sanctuary, we washed dishes at a facility that looked like it hadn't been used in a while, and we did several other things.

I have a lot more pictures from this trip, but most of them either have the kids in them, or make it look like we played and ate the whole time we were there!

 I remember talking to a couple of the high school boys that were doing their community service, and they were amazed that we were willing to pay to come up to Chicago to work during our spring break.  But helping feels good.  That's part of what made Week of E so great.

In May 2003, there was a tornado north of Joplin in a town called Carl Junction.  There was quite a bit of damage.  One of the professors at our college lived not far outside of town and had some damage on his house and in his yard.  The yard was full of tree branches.  Some of them were small enough that they could be picked up and loaded into a trailer for disposal (my job), and some of them were large enough that they needed to be cut into pieces with a chainsaw before they could be moved (not my job).  I remember hearing that several people were headed out to help, so I went along to do what I could.

There are plenty of opportunities to help people, whether it's in your own town or several hours' drive away.  It may be helping to get through the aftermath of a disaster or accomplishing something that's part of every day living.  Sometimes helping is fun; sometimes it's not.  Helping can mean hard work, but in the end it's satisfying.  Knowing that you put yourself out there for someone else feels good.

Whether big or small, what opportunities have you had to help people?

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6 Responses to Helping feels good (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

  1. That's good, I like to help people when I can too! I do a lot of volunteering as well, mostly at animal shelters, but I would really like to help those people that got badly affected by severe weather systems.

    I also like to help teach and motivate people.

    Great post! That's great that you like to help people! : )

  2. I've had the opportunity to help most recently with our flooding here in Colorado. My best friend's basement was filled with 8 feet of water and then left behind inches of mud filled with all kinds of junk. I spent many days with her sifting through years of memories. I was able to help in many other ways, but there were many times through those first weeks that I felt helpless. There is still much clean up to do in nearby communities...lives are still turned upside down. Just one more way to share God's message of hope. Have a wonderful day Kirra!


  3. I think that volunteering at an animal shelter could be a lot of fun and a lot of mess! There are so many ways to help out in the world and we can all find things that suit our skills and interests.

  4. I've never had the chance to work in that kind of aftermath. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult that would be emotionally, mentally, or physically. I remember reading about the flooding on your blog. It's hard to picture that much water.

  5. We did a lot of those kinds of things you mentioned during my time with YWAM. More recently we renovated a school for children with autism. Generally, I offer help and give it when possible ,and I totally agree that it feels good.It is better to give than receive.

  6. What a neat project, renovating a school! I've never worked with YWAM but I've heard good things about it!


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