“Growing up, my parents always made it a priority for my family to go to church on Sundays, but Jesus wasn’t really taught to me in a way that I could fully understand. I grew up believing the way to get into heaven was to go to church every Sunday and pay your tithes.
“After an abusive relationship ended in high school, I was left unsure of what it meant to love and be loved. When I left for college, I was excited to be free and had no plans of joining a church. After the first few weeks of school, a friend invited me to a Bible study. What I thought was a one-time event ended up being a weekly thing. For the first time, I was challenged to read my Bible and see for myself what I truly believed. While reading through the book of John, I came to know and understand the love of Christ. God opened my eyes and show me that I was a sinner in need of Him. One night in my dorm room, I got on my knees and prayed for God to take the weight of my sins away. At that point, I clearly understood the gospel and that I needed it daily.
“Over the 13+ years I’ve known Christ, the Lord has carried me through both amazing and challenging times – through every dark time, I’ve had a sense of peace because I fully trust Him with my life. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that the goodness of God does not rely on my circumstances. In the midst of broken relationships, anxiety, uncertainty, and closed doors, God has been good and is good, and is worthy of praise through it all.
“A few years after finishing grad school, the Lord eventually led me through the doors of Watermark Urgent Care, where I worked for nearly three years as the office manager at the Skillman clinic. I remember my first day walking in and seeing the difference compared to other places in healthcare where I’d worked. The front desk volunteer, Sheri Neiderhoff, blew me away with how she welcomed each patient.
“I now work at Blue Cross Blue Shield and spend some of my free time serving with Watermark Health. I get to help shepherd dental clinic volunteers and assist with Watermark Health’s external dental clinics. For the last five years, we have partnered with local dentists to host dental extraction and hygiene clinics. These clinics allow us to treat the real and urgent dental needs of our patients and, most importantly, share the gospel and love of Christ with them. It is also been an opportunity for us to make disciples in the dental field. Some of our volunteers that come are not believers, and they get to hear the gospel and be in the room while patients are cared for pastorally before and after treatment.
“It is easy to look at the healthcare system in America and feel discouraged. I have seen some of the darkest parts of healthcare and some of the brightest. As I think about Watermark Health, I am in awe. Ten years in, and the Lord is moving and working just as He did when the very first patient walked through the doors ten years ago this fall seeking an abortion and walked out choosing life for her baby.
“While patients are seeking to get their physical needs met, we get to sit and talk with patients about their spiritual needs as well. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to sit across from a grieving mother, a man living in active addiction, refugees seeking asylum, victims of domestic violence, a college student seeking an abortion, and many other people with lives and stories that look much different than mine.
“I have seen the Lord’s faithfulness in the volunteers He brings to serve – high school students, stay-at-home moms, retirees, HR specialists, and firefighters. Working in healthcare is tough, and our volunteer nurses and providers choose to come in on their days off with smiles as they serve with us.
“So, my challenge to you, church, is to get to know our city. You can’t love it if you don’t get to know it. That means actually getting out there, outside of your bubble. Start with your neighbors! Get to know them, and then they may have needs that you can help with. Serving is how we can be the hands and feet of Christ. It’s a tangible way in which believers can love other believers, the community, and the world. It’s just a matter of getting up! There are a lot of us who have skills and talents that we’re just sitting on. Don’t wait for someone to come tap you. Raise your hand.”
Find opportunities to serve this summer with Watermark and our ministry partners with Love Our City.