Service of Hope works closely with our projects to provide volunteers for those we support. It is common for individuals wanting to make a difference to those in Brazil to volunteer with our project My Fathers House. We wanted to share with you a little more about what this might include, and thought the best way to do this is to let one of our volunteers share their own experience. We will follow James’ volunteer journey with My Fathers House over the next couple of months.
In Part one, James (from York) shares a little about why he wanted to volunteer with us, and the process we took him through:
My name is James (known to my friends as Jam) and I am 19 years old. I am currently on my gap year and wanted to get involved as a volunteer in a project I cared about. In September I will be going to University in Southampton!
When I heard about the work My Father’s House and the church ´Agua Viva` was doing, I knew I had to get involved.
People giving up their time to serve a struggling community and make the gospel known in those desperate areas really struck a chord with me, especially as that is exactly what Jesus commissions us to do. I wanted to offer my enthusiasm to this project (even though I didn´t speak the language!)
How did I get involved?
I contacted Jodie who organizes the volunteers for My Father’s House. We met up and chatted about the possibility of me going over, it was very easy to organize but I didn’t really know too much of what I´d be doing!
To pay for the trip I worked as a bartender, but once I had enough money for the flights there wasn’t much else to pay for. Vaccinations were the next big one to sort, and I managed to get them all before I left.
My First Day
It took me almost a whole day to travel from my home in York to Recife, I left at 6am and got there at 9pm (including the time difference, it was 19 hours travelling!).
I was picked up by Ian, the pastor of Agua Viva, and he drove me to Olinda where I met my host Cida. She set me up in here spare room, Cida was extremely welcoming even though communication was difficult. The next day I got straight to My Father’s House. The boys had a LOT of energy, but it was fantastic.
I also met some other local volunteers who occasionally pop in, they were also lovely. Me and the boys played table football, had some lunch and they were eager to ask me a lot of questions – in Portuguese of course! Now, I did learn a little Portuguese before I came, but not nearly enough it seemed – I felt rather out of my depth language-wise. That will be my biggest challenge I think.
I then had a nap at the house and we went to visit the church, where I got to meet the team – and grabbed a moment to write this.
I can’t wait to see what the month brings, and to share it with others.
If you would like to know more about volunteering you can contact Jodie on firstname.lastname@example.org