BEing the church is still what God calls us to do today. But what does that look like? One day each week we will hear stories from within our Cross Creek community, of people who are taking intentional steps to BE the church to their community. This week we will hear from Anne Morrell, and what BEing the church looks like in her life. Anne serves with the Palmyra Rotary. Here are a few questions we asked and Anne’s answers:
Can you tell us what spoke to your heart about serving your greater community in this way? Was it the people you would be serving or maybe the cause itself?
Anne: Serving has always been a part of me. It brings me joy. Over the many years I needed to learn the best way to serve others and not be tossed to and fro by every serving opportunity. To understand the priorities in life of God first, Family second and then others… and this is hard for me. Rotary gave me a way to help so many – schools, churches, and others in our communities and around the world. Rotary is a service-oriented organization that raises money for or provides help to those in need. It also gave way to making incredible friendships and getting our family involved in the many service projects that our Rotary Club does throughout the year. When I started to learn about Rotary’s Youth Exchange program, I found my calling and have dedicated over 10 years to the program that helps high school students all over the world have a successful exchange to another country. One of our mottos is, Changing the World one Student at a Time and this becomes so evident when hearing about the students’ exchange experiences abroad and seeing the incredible impact that it has on the students and those that surrounded them.
Has this experience changed you at all? How so?
Anne: Most definitely I have been changed by Rotary and the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. In every service project we do you learn and grow in helping others. The people you meet, work with and the impact you leave. With the Rotary Youth Exchange program, we see how high school students take on this incredible challenge of traveling to another country for a school year and immerse themselves into another culture and language. As leaders we give the students and their families training and guidance from the many resources that we have learned over the many years to have a successful exchange. We become invested in each student as if they were our own and set them off for a year of amazing successes and also their share of trials. We also bring students into our communities from around the world and help them to adjust to the American culture in the schools they attend, the family homes they live in and communities in which they live. These students have taught me so much and made me a better leader, person and increased my knowledge of other countries and their cultures. It also gives me an opportunity to share my faith and pray with and for the students. The relationships that our family has made through these experiences are priceless.
Are there any verses that come to mind when you think about serving in general or serving in this way?
Anne: two verses come to mind from serving in Rotary:
But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Any other things about your serving experience you would like others to know about serving?
Anne: Jesus Christ was the greatest example of serving others and each day I am blessed by his goodness towards me and my family. To be able to take my worries and fears and lay them at his feet, to be witness to healings and to be healed and then to be given the opportunity to serve His children is the very least I can do. Serving brings joy in knowing that you can help others in need, be the light of Jesus and a blessing to others.