Consistency. Why is this trait considered to be so positive and important to almost everyone in the world? I believe consistency originated out of the intentionality of God’s people looking to further His kingdom through the relationships they would develop on this earth. It was this realization on my part a little over a year ago that helped me decide to start investing my life in the girls at Miracle Hill Children’s Home.
At the beginning of summer break in between my freshman and sophomore year of college, I had a feeling that I was not doing everything I was called to do that summer. I did not feel complete nor that I was fulfilling whatever the Lord had for me those three months. I began to spend a little more time in prayer asking Jesus what He would have me do, starting to believe that I was to invest and pour into young women. I did not know exactly where He would have me to serve.
What More Can I Do?
One morning, I spent more time doing my devotions and prayer than normal, once again beseeching the Lord as to what He wanted. And then it clicked. A children’s home. I immediately began researching children’s homes around me, and Miracle Hill stood out. I remember calling multiple people and then finally getting in touch with Anna Baumgartner who has been such a blessing in helping me schedule my time with the older girls at Miracle Hill. We scheduled an appointment for me to come and look around and fill out my paperwork and background checks, and afterwards I remember thinking, “Wow, God. You are so good.” It was then that I started to realize the impact I wanted to have on young women who needed consistency and godly influences in their lives.
The day finally came for me to have my first two-hour session with the girls. I had not met them yet, so naturally, I was a bit nervous. I was introduced to the girls and then just started talking to them. Honestly, the first day no one was completely comfortable as I was a stranger to them and them to me. But we began to develop relationships, and I don’t know if the girls will ever fully understand just how important these relationships became to me. I left that first day with a joy in my heart that could only come from the Lord, praising Him and thanking Him for placing me where I felt content and that I had a purpose.
Keep Walking the Talk
Throughout the summer, I would come every Wednesday prepared to either play board games or go outside and spend time with the older girls. This time every week became incredibly special to me because I began to see their excitement when I would walk in the door, and I felt a love for these girls. “My girls”, I dubbed them, were extremely interested in my life and always wanted to see pictures. Two sisters developed a fascination with my little brother and of course, every week wanted to know what was new in his life and if there were any fresh pictures, which I found very humorous.
Another girl would not talk to me or participate until slowly but surely, she began to see that she could have fun and be comfortable with those her own age and trust me, the kind of crazy but quiet volunteer. This opened my eyes to the fact that most of these girls did not have consistency in their lives and wanted to, in a sense, live vicariously through me and hear everything that I was doing, listen to stories about my family, and see pictures. This was when I realized the impact of consistency and vowed then to never leave my girls behind, reminding them on occasion that they are loved by not only me, but by the Lord.
The last day of my volunteering came for the summer as I had to head back to my university for the fall semester. The week before, the girls and I had decided that we were to have a water day! I brought the works: water balloons (which you can imagine how that worked trying to fill them up with about twelve excited girls), water guns, balls, and more. A few of the young women decided to get an old tarp and soap and we created a mega slip’n’slide in the back yard down a hill.
I will never forget this day. It was the definition of a fun, summer day filled with laughter and hugs. I remember tearfully leaving the cottage thinking just how incredible that summer had been. Had I not been willing to follow the Lord’s call to step out of my comfort zone and care for those who needed it, I would not have met the loving and caring young women I did at Miracle Hill Children’s Home. I have continued my volunteer work this summer and plan to in the future, but I will never forget my first summer with my girls and just how special it was to me, forever in my heart.
Making Disciples Takes Time
I can’t stress enough how important it is to volunteer and to be consistent in your volunteering. Have courage and step out! You never know what you will miss if you choose not to step out, but more importantly, you will never know the relationships you could have developed and the impact you could have on younger disciples in the making.
Follow the call Jesus left in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” I believe the Great Commission also includes reaching out to those in your own city, your lonely next-door neighbor, or a struggling family member who does not believe in the name of Jesus Christ. Volunteer work is special, something you cannot fully understand unless you do it. I love it, and so will you. Reach out, sweet friends, and experience the love of Jesus flowing through you onto His dear children who need the reminder of His love the most.
Learn more about volunteering with Miracle Hill here.
Post submitted by Emily Floyd, volunteer at Miracle Hill Children’s Home. Emily may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.