This blog post was written by Radu Rodila, Summer Intern 2013
Service is not something you choose, it is something you live. I have learned that statement multiple times in my life, and this opportunity was no exception. I first discovered Act Together Ministries after having a conversation with Reverend Dr. Jon Adams. Dr. Adams is the lead pastor at The Vine Community Church, one of the partners for Act Together Ministries, and he is passionate about service! Once I heard that there was an opportunity to serve families in need, I felt drawn to the internship! I come from an immigrant family. Our experience was pretty typical in that we came to the United States with almost nothing. Our only form of support came from our church family and the programs that they put on for families like mine. Ever since then I have been acutely aware of the ways in which people step up and support those in need. I wanted to be someone who could give back, someone who could serve the families, and help relieve some of the stress that they feel in their day-to-day lives. So I applied.
Upon starting the internship I felt energized and ready for all sorts of tasks that would immediately help people in need. While I experienced this through the Food Pantry, most of my tasks were in the background. I learned all the things that go into making it possible for an organization to support families in their communities. I experienced the wall of resistance that seemed to show up every time I thought I was on the right track. I felt the sting of many rejections, and felt the weight of knowing that families may not receive the help they need because of that small, powerful word. Still, I learned to persevere. The energy that came from knowing that some of these families may not have another opportunity to get what they need kept me going. The effort made the change.
Through many prayers, and the support of some dedicated individuals I had the privilege of seeing everything come together. I realized that even when my efforts seemed futile, I was not the only one making efforts to help. Before this internship, charity was always the act of one: One organization, one church, or one person. This could not be farther from the truth. Charity comes about because many people have felt the pull on their heart to give, and have responded generously. I met volunteers from all walks of life. I witnessed families that looked worn out from the efforts of surviving. But in all of this, I saw hope. I thank everyone who was involved in making helping these families find hope; and I thank the families for allowing Act Together Ministries into their lives. The charity was not what was given, but in what was received.