Let’s Play Catch Up + My Thoughts on Volunteering at St. Francis House and Listening

I haven’t posted in here in a good while, I typically wait for inspiration, but sometimes it’s tough for me to transfer thoughts from mind to paper. Which leads me to not post anything at all, because when I am passionate about something I am a bit of a perfectionist. (if only I could be a perfectionist in things like school!) I’d say its accurate to say that the place where whoever wants can get a look into mind and thoughts is a place that I want my words to be translated accurately to what I am actually trying to say.

This semester is going very well, I’ve built a lot of new relationships since January with people I just had the pleasure to meet this semester and it is so pleasing to see that God is constantly putting great friends into my life. My classes are going well (I’m actually supposed to be writing a paper for one of them right now) and I am enjoying that a lot of them are showing similarities, allowing for me to get to know each concept better, but from a different angle each time.

I had an opportunity to volunteer at the St. Francis House here in Gainesville. It was for one of my classes and I needed 20 hours for this semester. Through a combination of my procrastination and a miscommunication with other volunteering agencies, I found myself with a paper due in 2 weeks and 0 of my hours completed, this landed me at St. Francis. I worked in the kitchen, and I squeezed in 20 hours into the next 6 of 8 week days, waking up at 6:15 AM for each of those days. During that time I had a cool experience, I learned in a new way to rely on God. I remember on Sunday before my 15 hour week started and just being scared of what would come, waking up at 6:15 for 4 out of 5 days this week? Yikes. Fortunately, God stepped in as He so often does and calmed my anxiety, and assured me that He will provide me with the energy to get through the week, and of course He did.

Anyway, my experience was great at St. Francis. I got to know the adult volunteers and hear their stories, which was great. Here’s an excerpt from the paper I wrote for class on my experience at St. Francis:

The most significant experience I had in my service learning was in general the relationships I was able to build with the adult volunteers and to hear their stories. In particular I was able to talk to a man who was in the Navy earlier in his life (he is currently around 60) and he told me stories of what places he was sent to and the experiences he had there. We were also having a discussion about work ethic, stemming from complimenting each other on the other’s work habits, which led him to fill me in on a few stories from his high school days that led him to always be a hard worker, and that it wasn’t just from the lessons he learned in the Navy. This was very rewarding for me because I believe older people have a great deal of wisdom to share through their stories, and we just need to listen

What a cool opportunity I was given to listen to a man tell his story, people so often just want to have someone to listen, so my encouragement for you today is that you will keep your ears open, give someone a chance to tell their story, because we all have one to tell.

One of my next few posts will be about my summer, which I am unbelievably excited about, I believe God is preparing me to be ready for Him to reveal Himself to me in a whole new way. So keep an eye out for that.

-Mark

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