Over the past 6 months I’ve done a variety of things as a Young Adult Volunteer. I’ve worked with preschoolers, been church publicist, tech support, bulletin folder and editor, Sunday school curriculum creator and implementer, painter, organizer and cleaner, retreat worship planner, liturgist, and future Vacation Bible School director as well as many other things. I jokingly told the congregations supporting me that Paul said he tried to be all things to all people and here I am following in his footsteps!
What I’ve most enjoyed about this experience so far is building relationships with people around me. Getting to know my roommates, Kathy, my coworkers, the kids, the church folks and just everyone else has enriched my life. Everyone has a unique perspective. On one of our monthly YAV Team days we were helping bag food at a local food bank and the high school student I was paired with told me about her experience trying to finish high school during Katrina. I couldn’t imagine having my studies and social life, not to mention my house, uprooted and demolished by a natural disaster. She was just focused on getting herself back on a good timetable to get into college. She encouraged and challenged me to work harder at what I’m doing as a volunteer.
My culminating project for the year, as we call it at Lakeview, will be Vacation Bible School: Crocodile Dock. I’m ridiculously excited. It’s not even funny how excited I am. The great thing about jumping into this experience and trying things I’ve never done before is that I discovered how much I adore working with kids. I’ve already got the kids in church pumped for VBS and it doesn’t start until June! I just have to work on encouraging the adults to lend a hand. I’ve never coordinated something so massive but I feel that, with God’s help, I’m up to the challenge.
There were several reasons I embarked on this journey and now, at the half way point, I can say that I know it’s been worth it every step of the way. Some of those steps weren’t as easy as I thought. It often takes effort to build understanding with people who think differently than you do. However, I know that New Orleans is where I feel called to be right now. It’s a wonderful city that certainly parties hard but also has a certain special something that draws people to stay here through the most difficult of times. – Alicia