My trip to Alabama was my fifth and final youth workcamp. While I am sad that this was my last workcamp, I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had through this church over the years while in youth group. I have learned many things throughout my five workcamps, but there is one thing in particular that I recognized from each of my trips. That is to not be greedy and be grateful for what I have. It is easy for us, especially teenagers, to want more. We always want the newest clothes and technology. But when it comes down to it, those possessions don’t matter. That’s not what living our life to the fullest potential means. What we should focus on is having those relationships and friendships with each other and with God. My freshman theology teacher told us each day, “Life is all about relationships and the journey.” This quote didn’t mean much to me my freshman and sophomore year but during my junior and especially senior year, it started to stand out to me and make a little more sense. I realized that the journey isn’t always easy.
Each day at workcamp this year, we were asked to think about and point out our God moments that came up. People had different answers while I just blew off this question because I didn’t know how to answer it since I didn’t think I saw God anywhere. Now being back for a week, I have taken a step back and re-evaluated the question. I now realize that God was everywhere that week. He was in us volunteers who went down and served this community. We were the hands and feet of God and He gave us strength each day to push ourselves to our limits to serve this community the best that we could. God was in those who we served, prayed with, and prayed for each day. Whether these people ran out of money or lost their wife like the gentleman we built the ramp for, whether they went through a huge grieving process or still are grieving, these people are some of the most positive and uplifting people I have ever met.
One thing that we all had in common in Alabama was our faith. Just as Jesus told the crowds, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I know I personally just as most of us, have had our struggles with our faith whether that be not listening to God or to completely stop believing in God. We need each other to get through these rough times but once we do get through them, we are stronger people with a stronger faith. All of us there in Alabama were children of God. Another phrase that I blew off because I had heard it so many times growing up. But now thinking about it, those words have a much deeper meaning. We all have little features about us that make us special and unique, and when it comes down to it, we all want to serve God and make society, His world, and His creation the best that we can. Jesus also told the crowds, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” It was great to be able to help comfort these people through all they have been through whether we were building a ramp, talking to them, listening to them, or giving them a hug.
I thank this church for the opportunities we have had to go out into the community and serve. What we do though isn’t enough because we can always do more, especially on an individual basis. I encourage you to think about this movie trailer we watched today and challenge yourself just as Trevor did. I know this seems overwhelming, I totally get it. There is a lot to do in this world and it never seems like we have enough time. But imagine if we all stepped up and helped each other out and how much of a chain reaction that would have. Whether we help one person at a time or a group of people…whether we do something huge or something small…no matter what you do, all of these changes will make an impact on this world. Make a list if you need to, otherwise just go for it. I bet you will be surprised because it will make a bigger impact than you might think.