When I got on the plane from San Antonio to Washington-Dulles in May, I was a jumbled mix of sad, excited and anxious. I was travelling farther than I’d ever gone by myself, and I was leaving Texasthe only home I’d ever known. Virginia was scary and new and 1600 miles too far from San Antonio. I was excited to see my parents and sister, who had moved to Virginia in January, and I was eager to start my new job as an intern in Serve Ministry at Floris United Methodist Church. I knew God wanted me in Virginia but that meant leaving my school, my friends, my home church and my authentic Tex-Mex. It was terrifying, to say the least.
However, starting my job at Floris UMC just confirmed everything I knew God was telling me. As a Serve Ministry intern, most of my responsibilities are planning and coordinating Camp Hutchison, an educational summer camp for rising first through thirdgraders at Hutchison Elementary School in Herndon, VA. Hutchison Elementary is a Title I school, and 64 percent of its students have limited English language proficiency. Seventy percent of Hutchison’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Our camp helps ready these students for school in the fall and provides a safe, fun environment where they are loved. These students are what Jesus was talking about when he asked his followers to serve “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40).
God has blessed me with a heart for children, teaching and planning. He has also called me, as He does every one, to serve others and love them abundantly. Camp Hutchison is a perfect opportunity for me to use the gifts that God has given me to serve His children. Our volunteers, staff and teachers are following in Jesus’ example to “let the little children come” (Matthew 19:14), and I have seen Christ’s love in the passion and commitment of our volunteers more times than I can count.
One application from a high school volunteer has been on my heart for the last few weeks. She wrote in the comments section of her application, “I think it would be rewarding and fun to help kids that may struggle with school. I imagine that God would do His great work through me by helping the children of Hutchison Elementary. I would be honored to work at Camp Hutchison this summer.” Her application reminded me why I came to Virginia and why God wanted me here. It was just one more sign that I’m in the right place and that God knows what He’s doing.
I was so scared getting on that plane to Virginia because I had such a hard time trusting God to take me where I needed to go. I went out of hesitant obligation; I was supposed to visit my family, and I was supposed to work at a church, and I was supposed to do what God called me to do. But now that I’m here at Floris UMC, I see more and more of God’s plan for me, for the summer and for Camp Hutchison. I’m sure that I can only see a tiny fraction of how this fits into His plan for my life, and that scares me a little too. But I serve joyfully now, knowing that He has given me everything I need and placed me exactly where I need to be. God knew what He was doing when he put me on that plane, and He knows what He’s doing as I get ready for camp to start. I can only excitedly watch and patiently wait for what He has planned, and I am not afraid to fly.