Two Months in Worcester: An AMA Reflection
"I thank the Lord for bringing me here..."
"When I first arrived in Worcester almost 2 months ago, I told a girl in the St. Peter’s Church Youth Group that I had moved here from Florida. She looked at me incredulously and said, “You moved here from Florida? You fool!” And I have to admit, when I started wearing long sleeves and jackets in August I started to wonder if she was right.
Coming to New England from Florida has definitely been a big change. But it seems that everyday I find something new to love about Worcester that has made the transition so much easier and enjoyable. Things like chipmunks, apple picking, Friendly’s ice cream, the brilliancy of the changing leaves, and most of all the family I have found at St. Peter’s and the glowing faces of the children in our mentoring program.
Every Wednesday and Thursday I am blessed to spend with about 70 neighborhood kids and college volunteers. It is hard not to feel welcome in a place where faces smeared with chocolate from Dunkin Donuts and stained red with fruit punch smile, laugh, run, and play with seemingly endless energy. Their great joy is infectious and those 4 hours of noisy chaos have quickly become the highlight of my week!
Mentoring is just one of the programs I am involved with here and each one brings with it a unique joy. It is a joy to work with the determined students in our ESL program and watch their progress each week. It is a joy to work with the people of St. Andrew’s, our mission parish, who have such a devotion to keeping their struggling church alive. And it is a joy to spend time with the college students at Clark University who make their faith a priority in their busy lives.
There are so many people who have helped to make Worcester a home to me and I thank the Lord for bringing me here for this year of service and growth. I am so excited at the opportunities that are available to me and at the chance to take part in the great work that is being done in Worcester. So am I a fool to come here from Florida? Ask me again in December!"
— Liz Clayton
Volunteer Stories and Reflections:
Mexico City, Mexico
Brendan Carey, 2009-2010