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Tim Joseph

Patrick Green& Susan Haarman
EXPL 291-Section #013
My Definition of Service

Service has the same general scope of helping people or improving certain aspects of a

community, but to each individual community that could have a whole lot of variation on how

that is done. When service is being done, it relies on people working and communicating with

each other, whether that is within a group or communicating with outside groups. The bonds that

are formed are done so by being reliable, and having people do their absolute best every time.

These bonds are essential since it forms trust, which allows people to work without doubt that

others are doing their tasks to the highest of their abilities. My definition of service is work done

to help the lives of people, but to each situation, how it is done varies. It involves people coming

together to make a positive impact on a community and forming relationships that enhance the

work that is being done.

My definition of service comes from a retreat trip I did with my Church in the summer of

2015. The group I was part of went to Springfield to do renovations and be with groups that

needed some sort of support. I remember beforehand I did not want to go since it was a five-day

trip, and I rather being playing the new Batman game. However, my parents convinced me to go

at the time, and some of my friends from middle school were going, as well. While I went

because I thought it would look good, and I knew some people, when leaving I got so much more

out of it. We were broken up to 3 groups since there were a lot of people that went to different

sites to do service. I remember that the specific group that I went to went to a building that was

falling apart. I do not remember the exact details, but it was like an office building. We (the

group I was part of) painted the inside of many of the rooms, and help clean up outside the

building to make it presentable. Painting for a long time can be really boring, but since there

were other people there who I knew a little, we talked and got to know each other a little bit
Tim Joseph
Patrick Green& Susan Haarman
EXPL 291-Section #013
more. It made the time fly, and there was lot of fun had in that building. Also, the person who

represented building was present most of the time, and doing her part. The relationships that

were formed were strong, and help make the overall project a success in my opinion.

My group also visited another group who did some work in a mental housing facility

(that is how I would describe it). The work they did would be described as more helpful directly

with the community. There, the focus was more with taking care of the people as humans. While

other things were done to improve the quality of life, the direct interaction with people was what

was most beneficial to these people. These people were placed in this facility probably against

their own will. They are away from their family for an extended period of time (due to the fact

that they are not able to take care of them to the extent that these people need). However, by

spending time with these people, we were able to show that people care about them still. I

remover talking to someone there, and he was showing me his wallet with all of his family in it.

He was gloating about and so proud of it. I believe that would be a service to him since we

showed that people care and hold value in their stories. Everyone who went there had the

common idea in mind to help brighten up those people’s lives. As I mentioned earlier, service

has a general scope of helping all people, yet each circumstance is different. People can be

helped in many ways, whether directly or indirectly. While both instances were different, they

both show some common characteristics on how communication is key, and how valuing one’s

work is key. Everyone trusted each in the process that everyone would show up and do their part

to the best of their ability.

For the mental housing facility, the biggest issue is that these people might not get the

compassion that they needed. The organization was a church (St. John the Evangelist), and the

whole point of a mission trip is to help deepen one’s faith in God. While people from all over the
Tim Joseph
Patrick Green& Susan Haarman
EXPL 291-Section #013
place came together for their love of God, the way that faith was deepened was by the work that

was done. The organization that was able to put this all together showed that they were about

showing their faith in God by helping others in the world. In any community that is struggling,

the biggest issue is that they do not have any support. Whether they go out of their way looking

for support or someone from the outside recognizes their issues shows the differences of the

needs for each community. However, the organizations that come in need to show that they

genuinely care for these problems, and they do not have an agenda outside that they have more

importance to. Also, when an organization puts a community first, they are able to work to the

best of their ability since the work is for the people that they can relate to.

I believe for that mission trip, I did not have an effect as an individual, but the group as a

whole had a major effect. It is nearly impossible for people to work by themselves to cause

change. However, when people work together as a well-organized unit, a lot of positive work can

be done. For the communities there, one community got a building that was restored, while

another community were able to feel value in themselves. As mentioned before, each community

has different needs, and the way these needs are met are done through different paths.

While I went cause my parents asked me too, and my friends were going to, at the end of

the experience, the positive change that the group had was what I truly enjoyed. The smiles from

those we helped, the conversations knowing more about others, and the work done to improve

the lives of other people showed how making a difference in people’s lives is probably one of

best feelings in the world. Service can be done anywhere and any way, for each community it is

specific, however the underlying goal of service is to make a positive change in the lives of a