April 16, 2008
Orientation Morning 2
March 17, 2008
Imagine this: 350 volunteers in one room, standing in one big circle, praying for a good week. Praying for safety, patience, love for each other, good weather, overcoming fears, and whatever else comes to mind. 350 people!
Even more amazing: This particular week, from March 16 through March 22, 2008, the North Shore Disaster Recovery Center gymnasium had to accommodate two separate orientations. Approximately 700 UM volunteers showed up for this one week of mission work in Slidell, Louisiana.
Now, consider this: This combined group of 700 is made up of many smaller groups. Some groups have 4 people, some have 14 or more. Some groups come from a single church, some groups come with volunteers from many churches, and some groups from corporations or colleges.
The administrative building at Aldersgate UMC is prepared to display up to 16 flags at any one time. Each working volunteer group has the honor of seeing their state flag flown during their stay. If you are with a college group or a company, and you are able to provide them with your flag, they’ll be happy to fly that, too. It gives volunteers a sense of recognition that they have traveled far to be there – not only physically but mentally. It makes us feel that they know who we are, even with so many abundant bodies, like this week.
Even more importantly, it gives the community a sense of continued hope. They drive by the flags, gaze up and see who has come to help them this week. They want to see the states, colleges, companies who are there to serve. They want to know us.
Posted by jaselin at April 16, 2008 06:54 AM