"I started Outreach my sophomore year on the JDC3 team and immediately loved it. It was the highlight of every week and became my study break and my escape from busy hectic college life. Two hours every week where tomorrow's test didn't matter and neither did next weeks paper, right then I was just relaxing, laughing, and having a good time. My experience with the JDC really got me motivated to do more. My junior year I became a team leader and here I am Senior year as an Outreach Coordinator. It helped me find my niche at Concordia in Campus Ministry and really helped me become more spiritual in my everyday life." ~Schanna
Outreach has been the most rewarding volunteering I've ever done! I've learned so much about others and myself. While most people in society would consider juvenile delinquents very different from themselves, I've come to realize that we're more similar than we are different. When I first learned two years ago that I would be volunteering with the maximum-security juvenile delinquents, I was intimidated and unsure as to how I could relate to or help these youth. However, it came easy. I realized quickly that these youth are just like my friends and me. We all have hopes and plans for the future. We all want to do well and make something of ourselves in life. We've also all faced trials. In the case of the youth we work with at the JDC, they've made decisions in facing these trials that haven't always been beneficial to them. But that doesn't mean they're any "worse" than anyone else. That was a big realization for me. The youth at the JDC have such big hearts and they oftentimes just need some attention or for someone to show them they care. Over the course of my time there, I've often heard the youth comment on how much fun we college kids are and they are so surprised that we are choosing to spend our time with them. They realize there's something special about us and they want to figure out what that is and achieve it for themselves. My favorite part of each week is when we pray together at the end. Sometimes lots of the youth pray with us and other times just one or two will. I love hearing their simple yet powerful prayers and feeling the presence of God in that cold and confined space. Overall, volunteering at the JDC is just as much a blessing for us volunteers as it is for the youth there. ~Kristen M.
I have really enjoyed participating in Outreach for the last three years. I have met some great friends on my teams and I always look forward to outings! The summer before coming to college I went on a mission trip with my church and I felt called to the outreach type of ministry. I am glad that I have had the opportunity to participate in this type of ministry throughout college as well. ~Laura
I have a passion for mission and service to others that is very important to me. I have demonstrated this passion through one year as a member of the JDC Outreach team and another year as a co-leader of the Luther Hall Outreach Team. As a team leader, I believe I have been able to ignite this passion within other members of the team to strengthen our service in the community. Secondly, I believe my organizational skills equip me to be an effective leader. This has been especially important this year in collaborating with the administrators at Luther Hall to jumpstart Concordia's involvement with their residents. Luther Hall has requested that our time there be structured and purpose-driven. It has been a great experience for me to put these skills into play in this capacity. Finally, I believe my faith has equipped and strengthened me to be an effective leader of a ministry-centered organization like Outreach. Not only have I enjoyed sharing my faith with the members of the team, but I have especially enjoyed hearing and learning from the faith of the other group members. It is this community of faith that I want to continue to encourage and foster in our community outreach teams.~Tanner"Outreach has given me more, in terms of experience, than I could ever fit into words. However, I would like to share with you some fantastic memories from this last traveling season. A member of my team – our team’s name was “Hands and Feet,” by the way – hails all the way from Arizona. So, our team thought it would be fun to travel down there and do some service work over Spring Break. This trip turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life! First of all, we went in February, so while everyone in Minnesota was freezing their fingers off, we were getting a tan. While in Arizona, we attended our member’s home church and performed a skit for the congregation. We also gave of our time to a local ministry team in need of some young, energetic college students. The smiles I saw, both at church and at our service project, were the greatest rewards we could ever hope to receive. After our skit, on Ash Wednesday, a man approached us afterward. He was a nice man who happened to graduate from Concordia many, many years ago. He regaled us with his own Concordia Outreach stories and gave us all pocket Psalms to take with us. While all these new people we were meeting were amazing, I think that what made this trip so special was how close our team became with each other. Our team had gotten to know each other over the fall and half of the spring semester, but while we traveled Arizona and served others, we shared hopes and fears, dreams and beliefs. In less than a week, we became a sort of family, a group of companions that you can’t find every day. That’s the beauty of Outreach. You get a chance to establish meaningful, authentic relationships with those around you." ~Nikoli