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A Place to Serve: Summer Service Workers put GAP learning into motion
The Summer Service Program is for young adults from diverse backgrounds who desire to serve with a church or service agency in their home communities for a short period of time, generally 6 to 10 weeks. This grant funded program, supported by WCMCC and local churches, helps young adults develop leadership skills and build relationships with other workers and leaders. Summer Service Worker Delilah Isaak shares why she and her husband Brad wanted to partner with MCC in their work.
Last summer, my grandmother, Mary Elizondo, had suggested that I sign up for the Summer Service program so that I could continue to help in my church and community, and also have a summer job. I was able to be a part of the GAP Institute and while I had planned to be a part of the summer service program doing a project with young girls in my community, plans were changed. I received the privilege of working with Doug Kulungu, Jessica Mast and the rest of the MCC crew, coordinating the visits for the Summer Service Workers and planning the events/creating ideas to better the program.
This year, when the time came around, Brad and I decided that we would both love to work with MCC. We love what MCC does and we wanted to be a part of their work. We had been trying to figure out which church we would be able to work in because we had recently left the church that we had been serving at in Sanger. We first planned to work through the Hispanic Reedley MB church where my father attends, but this wasn't God's plan. I decided that the next idea would be to talk with my grandparents since they know every MB church here in the valley, and see what they thought.
At this time, I hadn't heard about my grandfather's (Jose Elizondo) church plant yet because it was so new, but my grandma thought that since the church was just getting started, it was definitely the place that needed the most help. Brad and I had already thought about what projects we wanted to do, and they fit right in with the plans for the church. Brad wanted to start up a food bank distribution through the church and I wanted to start a children's ministry and have a VBS to get the neighborhood children connected.
Even before the GAP Institute and the Summer Service training had begun, we were working with my grandparents and thinking ahead for this summer's work. Brad and I have always been involved with ministry and as an added bonus, it’s how we met. We have both worked with elementary, junior high, and high school students and have loved serving them. Brad loves working with the older group, while I enjoy the younger ones, so we make a great team with differentage groups. Our church in Sanger was small, but the children's ministry was growing, with around 50 kids on average.
We have had a passion to be involved with ministry and since we moved churches we were looking to serve elsewhere. From working with the kids in Sanger, we have seen that there is such a need for good role models in their lives, and from the GAP Institute, we learned that the issues in the valley are complex and affect everyone. We are really excited to be able to meet new families, be a part of showing the love of Christ to them, and see what God has planned for their city.