Answering God's Call to Serve
My wife and I have been volunteers with Rescue America for four, life-changing months. Serving with Rescue America not only changes the person’s life who you are rescuing, but the experience also brings an awareness and heart change towards an entirely new group of people with which my wife and I have had never contacted before. Not only do you play a major role in changing someone’s life, each rescue we get to participate in teaches us a new lesson about life, relationships, and faith.
Full disclosure, I was drawn to the Exit Team because it sounded like one of the most exciting and adrenaline-pumping volunteer opportunities I had ever come across. I was in slight disbelief that a volunteer opportunity like this existed when I first read the role description for Exit Team members. The first time I was selected to take part in a rescue, I felt the same giddy excitement I can only imagine Batman feels when Commissioner Gordon fires-up the Bat Signal. It’s a chance to answer a call to help someone in desperate need. In signing up to volunteer I was fully focused on what I could do for others, however I did not anticipate the profound impact that each rescue experience would have on me.
The first Survivor my wife and I helped rescue involved a woman who fell into some bad relationships and hard times over the last 15 years. From a worldly perspective, she had little to be joyous about, yet was one of the most jovial individuals I have ever encountered. She shared pieces of her heartbreaking and triumphant testimony with us over the few hours we spent together in the car. She found God when she was at a low point, and her extreme joy in every blessing that God has provided for her since then was astounding. Her spirit of thanksgiving – despite all she had experienced – caused my wife and I to take inventory of the countless blessings God has provided for us that we have taken for granted over the years. Without ever knowing, she taught us to be content with the blessings that we have and not dwell on the things we lack. This is a lesson that we will not soon forget because of the way God taught it to us through her boundless joy, fullness and freedom in Him.
My wife and I both enjoy volunteering our time and talents when and where able, however we rarely volunteer together because the areas we feel called to serve are often very different. Rescue America has provided an excellent opportunity to serve God alongside my wife for a purpose we both feel very strongly about. During another rescue together, we arrived at the drop-off destination and we could see the weight of the world release from the Survivor as she finally felt safe. It was an emotional moment for us all. We prayed over the Survivor, giving God thanks for delivering her from the life and asking God to continue to be her guiding light on her new path. God’s presence in this moment was almost palpable. Sharing powerful moments like this with my wife makes them that much sweeter and brings us closer together in our marriage.
I would have never guessed the blessing that volunteering with Rescue America has been in me and my wife’s life. What started out as excitement over an adrenaline rush opportunity has led to life altering lessons I will surely carry with me always. Even though it has only been a short time, my volunteer experience with Rescue America has been one of the best and most impactful experiences of my life.