By Precious Ndukwe, Mercy Volunteer Corps (Detroit, Michigan)
During my senior year of college, I knew that I wanted to serve after graduation. After prayer, I felt as though God was leading me to go somewhere I had never been before. Somewhere out of my comfort zone. As a child of God, I am called to be a light. Light does not hide in one spot. It radiates outward, reaching every corner, driving out darkness. So I decided to join Mercy Volunteer Corps, pack my things, and move to Detroit, Michigan. I told myself that this year of service would be a year of servitude, humility, and walking more in my identity as a child of God.
I won’t lie, I was terrified at first. I was afraid I was making a mistake. I was afraid that I wouldn’t find a church home. I was afraid that being in a new environment all by myself would be detrimental to my physical, mental, and spiritual health. I thank God that I decided to ignore my fears because moving to Detroit was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Arriving in the Motor City, I was completely stepping into the unknown. It forced me to find my faith in God, and just trust that He would guide me on this journey. Without a doubt, my year of service strengthened my relationship with Christ. I grew spiritually in a way I never would have if I had stayed at home near the comfort of friends and family. In Detroit, I had the opportunity to strengthen my faith without distractions. I was able to find a church home in the city that allowed me to mature in God. By growing closer to Christ, I learned (and am still learning) just how much He loves me. This, in turn, allowed me to love others.
Each day, I worked towards carrying the love of God in all that I do. This included carrying the love of God in my service site as well. God has commanded us to love one another as we love ourselves. Each day, I strived more and more towards this beautiful command. Through finding my identity in Christ, I learned to find my identity in the world and in my service site. Through God, I discovered my reason for being in Detroit. He constantly told me to go out and exude His love, mercy, grace. So I continuously worked towards His glory being shown through me in my service site and in my community. As God showed me love, I had to also show love. As God showed me mercy, I worked also to show mercy. As God showed me grace, I tried to show that grace.
The things God showed me while in Detroit have changed me forever. My service year was such a pivotal time in my life. I did not expect to grow spiritually as much as I did. But then again, the whole year was one full of surprises; God has definitely revealed to me that He is a God of surprises. Serving in Detroit taught me that I must continuously live a life of servitude and humility to God and others. I pray that even though my year of service has concluded, I will continue to grow in Christ and spread His love everywhere I go.