This I Believe

Hannah - 80112, Colorado
Entered on September 21, 2006

Give back to the world and make a difference because you can

“God dropped a big elephant on these people, and you guys came and took a small bite out of it.” Reverend Richard Jones was telling us that God had given these people a big problem and that we are to fix what we can.

Those were the words that have changed me forever. This past summer my churches high school youth group went on our annual mission trip, to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, to provide Katrina relief for members of First Presbyterian Church of Bay St. Louis. Every moment on that trip was absolutely incredible and life changing. We participated in everything, from painting, dry walling, gardening, watching sunrises on the beach, to exploring abandoned buildings and everything in between. These experiences have changed me forever. This trip taught me a life lesson I will never forget. I learned that no matter how much you help, you can make a difference by giving back to the world and helping people who are in need.

Not only did this trip help me make a difference to these people it also made a significant impact in my life. Each night as I lay in my tent, exposed to the intense heat and humidity something came over me. I was lost in thought. It was a sensation I had never felt before. It was the first time in my life where I felt I was making a huge difference in someone’s shattered life. I felt honored to be giving back to a world that had given me so much. Throughout the trip I could never escape the thought of getting back on that bus and going home. I would tell myself I wouldn’t leave. I needed to stay and help because there was so much to do. When we left Mississippi, the minister stepped inside the bus and said, “God dropped a big elephant on these people, and you people came and took a small bite out of it. The town won’t look any better when you leave; but you did make a difference to these people. Thank you.” Those words repeated themselves in my head all the way home and still affect me every moment of everyday.

Those feelings of exhaustion and fulfillment at the end of every work day were his words put into action for a hurting community. It was a great feeling I think everyone should feel at one point in time in their lives. I am compassionate about service that comes for the heart, because it makes the world a better place. I strongly believe in giving back to the world and making a difference because you can. Where will you start?