What volunteering can do for you

What going on an outreach can do for you!

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When going on an outreach your focus is often on the positive impact it will have on the people you are going to serve and rarely on what it can do for you.

The idea of going on an outreach can be daunting when you don’t know what to expect. You may feel inadequate or ill-equipped to contribute in any meaningful way. You can also feel like it’s ‘someone else’s calling’. Maybe you are just skeptical about how much change you can realistically bring. You may even feel like it’s not worth your time, considering your busy schedule. But have you ever thought that maybe, while you are giving your time to make a small difference in someone’s life, the biggest change could be happening in your own heart?

Here is what going on an outreach can give you:

A Fresh Perspective

This year, on July 18th, about 100 Hatfield Christian Church staff members went out into the community to spread hope as part of International Mandela Day. Some of the group served coffee and muffins at two of our local police stations and were able to pray with some of the police officers. They were also able to bless those people coming to the stations to report crimes. The rest went to the Southern Sun and Times Square ‘Stop hunger’ project. They served packing around 30 000 food parcels for those less fortunate and were able to pray for each person who would be eating one of those meals.

Serving at an outreach gives us perspective. Firstly, we are able to see and have compassion for the need that is in the world and on our doorstep. We are able to see the misfortune of others and be grateful for what we do have.

Secondly, we can see that even a small act of kindness does make a difference. Serving coffee and muffins can make someone’s day just that little bit more manageable; a food parcel will allow someone to go to sleep without an empty stomach. Giving of ourselves and our talents, no matter how seemingly small, can make such a huge difference.

‘Mandela Day was an eye opening experience for me. It gave me the courage to make every day Mandela Day, to make a small difference in someone’s life and to encourage my peers to carry on the spirit of goodwill in their everyday lives. I believe that God gave us talents so that he can give through us. It was a really amazing experience, I feel blessed to be part of a great occasion like Mandela Day.’

A New level of Faith

Also in July, a team of 19 individuals ministered to vulnerable families that the Viva Foundation already cares for. These were follow up visits to the families and the team got to witness how God has worked and answered prayers since their first visit.

One lady, who received a visit in May, was sick while she was pregnant and was found to be well when the team returned to her home, her baby had also been born without any complications. Another woman had previously asked for the team to pray for her to find employment. Upon their return, she was able to testify that she had secured a job. Yet another lady who received a second visit couldn’t wait for the team to finish speaking with her and interrupted them saying, ‘Since your last visit, I have decided that I am ready to receive Jesus. Please can you pray with me?’

It’s easy to lose hope when it feels like God is not answering your prayers. Maybe you feel like your request is too audacious to even ask the Lord for. Seeing the Lord prove Himself faithful in other people’s lives will build your own faith to ask and see God answer your prayers.

Kingdom Connection

When we step out to share Jesus in Word (evangelistic outreaches) or in work (practical outreaches), we are not only exposed to what breaks God’s heart, but we also position ourselves to make a contribution towards the advancement of the kingdom within our own city.
When we volunteer, we serve. When we serve, we mirror Jesus. When we start to look more like Jesus, we connect to God’s design, we contribute to the Kingdom. We become part of something bigger than ourselves.

Here is what two of our volunteers had to say:
‘Volunteering … makes me feel better [because] my life matters, [it] makes a difference in someone’s life… Serving others relieves suffering, benefits the under-resourced, meets the needs of the marginalised, provides hope, and improves the quality of people’s lives…’
‘Volunteering in the church has given me lasting influence on my family, friends and colleagues. What excites me about volunteering is that it is [both] challenging and rewarding being able to give back to the community.’

There is no doubt that volunteering and going on an outreach will make you look at life through different glasses. Glasses that add value and worth, not only to those whom you are serving, but to your own life. Your faith is strengthened because you see that God is faithful. You become a contributor in the Kingdom, part of a community on a mission, giving as Christ gave to us.
Volunteering is not to show others what we can do, but rather, who we are in Christ.

Why not take the plunge and join one of our next outreaches?

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