Reflecting on Salkehatchie Summer Service
Charlie has attended the Huntersville Camp for a number of years. This essay describes the impact that his first Salkehatchie experience had on him.
One of the largest events in my spiritual life occurred while I was participating in my first year of Salkehatchie Summer Service in Huntersville. About half of the week had gone by and the house I was working on was going well. Our work team had started to mesh and develop a good dynamic that made the work go smoothly. Our homeowner was an elderly woman who led a very spiritual life and over the week I saw her strong connection with God affect many members of the team in ways that were completely unexpected to them. One member of the group even chose our homeowner as their symbol at the end of the week saying that she had made them consider their own life and relationship with god. I personally never felt that special connection with the homeowner and I have not been able to determine what exactly caused this week to be so moving for me but it is the one time in my life that I feel I have truly felt the presence of god.
I was sitting in the worship service one evening listening to the music and I realized that I felt completely at peace and free from the pressure I am used to feeling in everyday living. I was completely exhausted from that days work unable to concentrate on more than what was going on at that very moment and something special happened. It was the combination of the work and the special moments I had seen other members of my group share with the homeowner and the feeling that I was doing something to truly help this woman who was such a devout believer in the work of God here in the world.
"It was the combination of the work and the special moments I had seen other members of my group share with the homeowner and the feeling that I was doing something to truly help this woman who was such a devout believer in the work of God here in the world."
It was by far the most transcendent experience I have ever experienced. I find it hard to even describe the exact feeling but I know that it came from having some connection to God at that moment.
This is how I feel God moves me to service; by allowing me to feel that peace that I have only ever accomplished through helping those in need. I find this peace in smaller acts of service than rebuilding houses such as the day I helped deliver Thanksgiving meals with the football team or any number of the service activities I have attended with the youth group. Service has, more than anything else I know of, drawn me closer to God and encouraged me to work on my personal relationship with Him. I want to attain that feeling of happiness and tranquility that comes from being close to God and having that connection with him. I feel that God grants me that feeling when I serve and allow myself to do the work of God here on earth.
Service has greatly improved my relationship with God and my life as a Christian. I really understand what it means to be the hands and feet of God in a way that I never would have if not for the experiences granted to me as a member of the youth group here at McMannen.