Serve Day is one of my favorite times at George Fox. Every year, we dedicate an entire day to serve others around our community. Students, professors and faculty come together and work to bless others, and in my case this year, to be blessed by others too.
Three of my friends and I partnered with a team leader and Faith in Action (a local non-profit organization) to help seniors in their homes for the day. The tasks we did for these people included washing windows, cleaning carpets, weeding and hooking up a TV. We helped three individuals, and all three were so appreciative and friendly, but Marilyn stood out most to me this year. When we were weeding her garden, she chose to stay outside and talk with us while we worked, telling us stories about her kids. It was nice to serve her with our actions, but also through conversation.
One of the tasks Marilyn wanted help with was hooking up a new flat screen TV. She had bought it in May, but could not reach under the TV to plug in the specific cords. An IT professional wasn’t able to make it out to assist her, so my group decided to go back to Marilyn’s house at the end of the day and attempt to help her set up her TV. After all, there were two college guys in our group who were technically inclined.
When we showed up to the back door of her trailer, she was speechless. Marilyn was both grateful and surprised to see us twice in one day, ready to assist her with her needs. The guys started tackling the sea of cords and outlets while the girls sat down with Marilyn, engaging in more conversation. Luckily, setting up her TV did not require a professional, and we were able to get things situated for her in no time at all. When we were leaving, Marilyn asked if she could pray for us. We huddled in a small group and she prayed one of the sweetest, most genuine prayers I’ve ever heard. Here we were, dedicating a day to serving people like Marilyn, and at the end of the day she was the one who served us with her conversation and prayer.
It still amazes me how one day of community service opens doors for relationships and moments like this one. I feel so blessed to have experienced this day, as I am every year at George Fox.