A blog about finding God's way on the journey with our children, our family, our jobs and our community.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Service Through Volunteer Work
Sir Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." I saw this come to life on Tuesday night at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for KARM.
We experienced some really joyful celebration over dinner while taking the opportunity to honor many of the remarkable volunteers who serve tirelessly at Knox Area Rescue Ministries. It was an exciting night of food, fun, entertainment and fellowship as we issued a heart-felt "thank you" to people who regularly give of their time, talents and treasure. The evening's musical treat was provided by our own David Lay, Nathan Sharpe and Cynthia Russell. Through their talent, these servants honored God and thanked our volunteers for all they do!
It was so exciting to walk around, meet people and hear about how they are serving the needy by volunteering at KARM. What I heard several times from the guests was how much they loved what they do in their volunteer work and how serving at KARM has deeply impacted their own lives. I was overwhelmed with stories of leading others to Christ, wonderful parties while at Serenity, opportunities to lead a chapel service, the excitement of teaching Bible studies to our Lazarus Hall men, the joy of serving meals, and the times of fellowship while on duty at the Front Desk.
It occurred to me on the drive home that I heard a consistent theme throughout each of these simple acts of service: The idea of people loving other people for and through Christ; sacrificing (even though no one would admit that it was a sacrifice) and providing encouragement and hope to God's children.
An exciting highlight of the evening was listening to the amazing impact God's transforming power has had on Clifton James, a Lazarus Hall resident at KARM. Several volunteers told me this was 'confirmation' that God was somehow using them to help speak His words to the lost through their service at KARM.
We praise and thank God for all the wonderful and dedicated volunteers who sacrifice their time to serve the least, the last and the lost through partnership with us. God has shown me that while many people in our community drive past KARM and turn their head, some even driving faster, locking their car doors and hurrying to get away from the mission, these volunteers are the few who specifically get in their car and drive into the mission - most looking very forward to arriving for their shift, most not wanting to leave when it is completed.
And on my way home from the volunteer banquet Tuesday night, I somehow knew that God was smiling because of these volunteers, and He was well pleased with their obedience.

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