Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Volunteering




My best friend, Julie, and I are starting a new adventure. I must admit, it was the furthest thing from both of our minds a few weeks ago - but sometimes God works quickly! :) To tell you the truth, I guess I have never really volunteered anywhere before. Sure, I have helped with different church type things, but this is really my first real community volunteer experience. When I was a teenager I went to Teen Court for a traffic violation and was sentenced to like 5 hours of community service. I went to a day care for underprivileged kids. It was very sad. I remember that about an hour before they were all to be picked up we fed them all again, even though they had lunch a few hours before. We fed them another complete meal and the lady running the place told me that was because many of them would not be fed again until they arrived the next morning and had breakfast at the center. I admit I lived a pretty privileged and sheltered life and that surprised me. Sure, I had been on mission trips to Mexico and seen the poverty there - but this was America after all!! So, my 16 year old eyes were opened a little bit. Point being, this was not a volunteer experience, as I was sentenced to serve and did not choose it.
So, here I am to Julie and I. We really don't know what we will be doing, but due to many different circumstances that keep popping up it feels like we are led to do this. I didn't know what to expect - would they be radical, legalistic in their beliefs? It was so far from that. In fact, as a volunteer I must sign a contract that states I will NOT try to influence a girls decision about her choice - it is just that - her choice. The purpose is to give girls in a scary position of finding themselves pregnant the information they need to make an informed decision. They need to know there are choices out there. It is also in the contract that religion can not be forced or pushed, but also be open to share and pray with clients if they want that. They very much want to love people where they are - no judgement about their choices that led up to the pregnancy or their choice about abortion, adoption, or keeping the baby or whatever. I liked the approach very much. I believe that Jesus is like this. He loves us exactly where we are. So many Christians tend to forget that.
My Grandma was advised to have an abortion - my mom was placenta previa and in those days there was not the technology there is today. My Grandma said absolutely not and carried my mom almost to full term. She and mom both survived, although my mom died several times in those first few days - but was brought back to life. I am very grateful for my Grandma's choice - otherwise I would not be here, nor would my kids. Kind of an odd thing to thing about, isn't it?

2 comments:

citizen of the world said...

It's always hard to bracket off your own beliefs, but if you can truly do that - being accepting of any choice they might make about their own future even if it not the one you might make - you will be offering those young women a profoundly valuable service. Good for you.

Shellmo said...

Congratulations on your new volunteer venture - I think it will be very rewarding!