Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trying to be more like Mary

When Janice Seitzinger is in the middle of her weekly commitment organizing volunteers for Mondays at Transitional Youth, sometimes she catches herself being Martha.
“When I am doing the kitchen I can forget why I am there, but then I realize that I need to be the Mary not the Martha. It was Mauro Cettina who said that. When you hear a Scripture, it just hits us.
“I think we are all trying to be Marys but then we are always wanting to make sure everything is going well. I have a tendency to forget who is in control. I have to literally step back and remember it is not about me. It is about the kids. You are there to love them, not fix them.”
She stepped into the role of coordinating volunteers for Rolling Hills’ Monday night Transitional Youth commitment a few months ago. Janice arrives at the First Baptist Church where Transitional Youth is held every Monday at 4 O’Clock and stays until about 9 O’Clock. For her role, she makes sure everything will be in place each week. She calls or e-mails the volunteers who are committed to make sure they are coming. She goes to the Food Bank on some days to purchase items for meals. When a group of volunteers cannot make their commitment, it is Janice who finds replacements.
“I am what you would call in charge of the kitchen. I am the one that makes sure the food is on time and that the volunteers are ready and that there is enough food. And if there is not enough we have a backup plan. We always have hotdogs and chili available in the back room.”
But it is not the phone calls and e-mails and visits to the Food Bank that Janice considers the most important part of preparing for her weekly Mondays at Transitional Youth.
It’s praying.
“We just found that when you pray, you find God’s peace. Some nights kids come in edgy and anxious and we don’t know what happened at their shelters and we don’t know why they are anxious and edgy. We pray that we can be God’s hands and feet. We pray, ‘Let us hear with Your ears and speak with Your words.’”
She has learned to go with the flow and trust that all will be fine in the end.
“I go in and make sure things are on time and going, and then if we run out of food I don’t worry, and if food is not there on time, I just start to realize that it will work out. We just talk to the kids. I try to let the groups that come in do their own thing. I am there to make sure they have all they need, to direct them and be there if they have any questions.
And most importantly while there, she tries to be more like Mary.
“I just try to banter with the kids while they are getting their food. If kids feel that we are just there to feed them and love them they will begin to trust us.”

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1 comment:

Mr. M said...

Transitional Youth is my favorite ministry at church. Because it allows us to immerse ourselves into the inner-city in need--a world away from "the bubble" of West Linn. We must get uncomfortable at times! I volunteered for 2 years. After reading this story, I think I may need to go back...


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