Since I’ve come to New Orleans, I’ve learned that there’s one other state that trumps PA in the bumpy road department and here it is! As you may have noticed, I’m originally from Pennsylvania, Lancaster to be specific. The question then, I suppose, would be how I ended up here. I graduated from West Chester University (West Chester, PA) in May 2008 where I was involved with a student ministry. A group of us took a spring break trip down here to help clean up. First of all, the fact that there wasn’t any snow on the ground was fantastic. Second, and most important, I fell in love with this place and all the people I met. God laid it on my heart right then that I would be coming back. Lucky for me, several people have been prodding and pushing me throughout my college career to consider ministry as a viable option after graduation. My campus ministers the Smith’s, my pastor Kathy, and many other friends gave me great encouragement when I expressed an interest in a year of service. When I started questioning people if they’d ever heard of the PCUSA program “Young Adult Volunteers”, they would shake their heads and ask me if I was positive it was part of the church. I managed to convince them that I wasn’t making it up and engage the support of five different churches in my area to pack me up and send me off as their respective mission projects.
Since my arrival in September I’ve been working at Lakeview Presbyterian Church as their Christian Education assistant. Lakeview had to rebuild their entire first floor as a result of Katrina. They are now renovating the second floor which is composed of Sunday school rooms, a room to house volunteers and a choir room. I’ve been doing a number of things including learning about writing business letters, planning and teaching Sunday School lessons, aiding in the renovations, and working at the Lakeview Presbyterian Dayschool four times a week. It’s been a wonderful experience thus far. I’m so grateful that everyone I work with has been patient, especially with me giving up my car for the year!
Over the course of this year I look forward to serving God in a way I’ve never had the chance to before. Being implanted into an established church has its difficulties but it also gives me the flexibility to try on different hats and form relationships with many different people. Though our part may seem insignificant, if we do it for the glory of God then it’s worth more than we imagine. – Oct. 2008