Our iCYOUTH students arrived home after serving for a week in San Diego. This is the first in a three-part series highlighting their time spent there.
by Grant Everly
San Diego was definitely a fruitful time for me as well as the rest of the team. Going in to the trip I was definitely a little nervous; with lots of cool things to do in San Diego, I knew it would be all too easy to get caught up in the touristy things that San Diego has to offer. So with that said, I think I, and the rest of the group, knew that we had to come in to San Diego with our hearts prepared and focused. I would definitely say that we accomplished this, and as a result God was glorified greatly.
Each day looked more or less the same for me while at Youthworks, the organization with which we were partnered. The mornings were spent at a food bank where the rest of the people on my work team and I compiled and gave out food. This was followed with time at an adult day center in the afternoon. The time at the adult day center was definitely my favorite part of each day with Youthworks. I really enjoyed getting to spend time playing games, and talking with the people there, and not surprisingly, one of the highlights from the trip came from Tuesday afternoon at the day center.
That Tuesday afternoon, I got to talking with a man named Ronny. Ronny was one of the younger people at the day center. If I were guessing, I would say he was in his early 60s. I started off the conversation like you would with any other person you had never met. Just had some small talk and slowly we started to warm up to each other. As we talked, I learned Ronny was a Christian. He shared about some of his life before he met Christ, a life that was cluttered with a history of alcohol and drug abuse, and as we continued to talk, I could tell that Ronny truly knew Christ in a very deep and relational way.
In a setting where I wasn’t expecting to necessarily find a Christian, it was quite exciting and cool to find a fellow brother/sister in Christ. When you’re at church you expect to talk to other Christians and sometimes we take the unity that comes through Christ for granted, but when you’re in a setting like an adult day center and you encounter another Christian you really get to see how special the brother in Christ bond is. This is one of the things I really enjoyed about talking with Ronny; once I found out he was a Christian, we instantaneously had this connection and understanding that we were both working toward the same goal. So not only was it cool to sit and talk spiritual things with Ronny, it was also quite encouraging to see how unifying Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is.
So in looking for a highlight of the trip, I would definitely say that my time with Ronny was one of my most favorite moments. Getting to talk spiritual stuff with a stranger is cool by itself, but adding on the element of being able to see the unifying nature of the Holy Spirit at work definitely made my time with Ronny something that I will remember for a long time to come.
Grant Everly is a sophomore at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.