Thinking about volunteering? Just that in and of itself might be enough to change the course of your life!
Volunteers are truly the backbone of OIM, and are the change agents that can bring about change in our street friends’ lives. I have seen this over and over again, and it never ceases to amaze me.
Sometimes when I go to the drop in I just take a chair near the wall and take notice of how our volunteers are making a difference! Over here, someone is in an in-depth conversation with a friend. Not so unusual for our culture perhaps, but we need to realize that this might be one of the first times or one of the only times that anyone has actually taken the time to listen to them, hear their story and show genuine concern for their well-being.
One of our guests is really a loner: he has never spoken more than two words to me personally (despite countless attempts over many years); one who keeps to himself at a table at the far end of the room alone, and does not interact with anyone; over whom we as staff have prayed and talked and wondered about his story, noting his ‘involvement but only on the fringe’. On the way to a table to interact with some of the guys, I walk past him as he is in conversation with Fred, one of our volunteers. I am totally amazed as I listen to him talking and having an actual conversation with Fred!,I counted them, he spoke THREE SENTENCES in a row! Fred responded as if this was no special occurrence, and it was then that I realized that our friend had found someone with whom he connected.
One volunteer, with no special training (apart from our Urban Intervention Training, see below) has made a connection when ‘trained professionals’ could not. And a very positive connection at that!
I will be interested to see how this unfolds. It may seem like a small thing for us, but really this is nothing short of amazing!
Would you like to have a positive influence like Fred has? I’d say the chances of this are very good. Maybe there is a special someone waiting just for you, who would talk to you, if only you reached out.
Join us for volunteer training January 30. Maybe God has someone waiting for you to impact in a positive way. Who knows the change that you could make! See you at the training!