A Blessing of Service
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, international mission trips came to a grinding halt, leaving individuals like Keri, a devoted mission trip planner, at a crossroads. Forced to reevaluate their purpose, Keri and her fellow volunteers discovered a remarkable shift in perspective, unearthing newfound opportunities for community service that had long remained hidden.
“It’s been really amazing with COVID,” Keri reflected. “I plan international missions trips, that’s been my lifeblood. It’s getting people out into the big mission fields. When COVID happened we had to shut all of that down and turn inward.”
With international borders closed and travel restrictions in place, the volunteers had to redirect their focus and channel their energy towards their local community. What unfolded was a revelation that opened their eyes to the profound needs existing within their own backyard.
“The people that were going all of a sudden realized, hey, we’ve got these opportunities in our community,” Keri continued. “They started serving with mobile meals, opportunities with people experiencing homelessness, and all of these different areas that they didn’t even realize were there.”
The pandemic, despite its devastating impact, brought about a silver lining in the form of a renewed spirit of compassion. Individuals who were originally drawn to international missions found solace in lending a helping hand to those in need within their immediate surroundings.
“So COVID has been a huge blessing in that part because their heart is already pulled to help people and they needed a new outlet for it,” Keri explained.
As the volunteers ventured into their own community, they discovered the depth of hidden struggles that had often gone unnoticed. The act of serving mobile meals unveiled the harsh reality faced by those experiencing homelessness, while engaging with various organizations exposed them to a myriad of unmet needs.
With their hearts now ignited with a rekindled sense of purpose, Keri and her team found joy and fulfillment in making a tangible difference in the lives of those around them. The local community became their mission field.