Being able to volunteer takes time and sometimes that’s the biggest reason why we decide not to. We become accustomed to our schedules and any minute taken from us can cause us some stress and we feel obligated to stay up late catching up. I am currently writing this note from my cell phone, volunteering for the first time as restroom parent at my son’s soccer practice. I would usually just drop him off and take care of other tasks or just wait in my car reading or writing. Today, I write and look around and wait for the next boy wanting to use the restroom. I feel awkward right now. When a kid needs to use the restroom, the coaches point at me. A kid just got hurt, and they sent him to the 1st aid parent. I should have signed up sooner.
I am not only a restroom parent, I am also a volunteer chaplain at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. Due to my schedule here at Crosswalk and with my family, I have only been going in on Thursdays. Even though there is a great need for more volunteers especially those who can speak Spanish, I have been reluctant to accept more responsibilities.
This past Thursday as I was driving towards Elmwood, I heard a song I have heard thousands of times and I believe it was the Holy Spirit preparing me. The lyrics go, ‘haces salir el sol sobre buenos y malos, misericordia renuevas cada dia” In English the wording is, “You make the sun come out over the good and the bad, mercy is renewed everyday.” I sang those lyrics and became emotional. I turned my emotions into prayer and arrived at Elmwood.
I arrived and spoke with Dave Robinson, the main chaplain of CIC (Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy) about possibly taking on another Spanish Bible study. He wrote down days and times on a business card and I placed it in my pocket to consider later. As I was leaving, a Spanish speaking inmate requested to see me and Dave and asked us to visit with the group of men who have been gathering together. Dave asked the inmate to bring the men to the office and 8 came.
We sat around a table and we began confirming the Spirit’s leading to begin meeting. Some good prayer and some good ministry followed. Due to this encounter, I will be adding another day to my volunteer time at Elmwood.
So I guess this is proof that volunteering does take up our time. But I also believe that it all depends on how you look at the volunteer opportunity. I arrived home and took out the business card. I see that business card as a letter of promotion that I accepted.
These next two Sundays we will be having two ministries share at our church services with introductory and volunteer workshops following. Those ministries are Help One Child and Real Options and maybe you can make some time to ask one of their representatives for a business card. I guess it all depends on how you view a business card.
Love in Jesus,