Mar20MonMarch 20, 2017
Five Ways Working for TE Changed my Worldview
For the past three summers, I’ve learned more than I ever thought was possible.
1. You learn the true meaning of the Lord equips those whom he calls.
As someone who actually had to be taught how to properly hold a hammer at her first staff training and learned the hard way that nails are actually required for hanging siding, I can attest that working for TE each summer reminded me that the Lord uses the most unlikely people to do cool things. It was also awesome to see this through the students – I’ll never forget the shock on a neighbor’s face when he saw the deck a group of middle school students framed!
2. Resourcefulness becomes one of your most-used skills
The most fun jigsaw puzzle I’ve completed was trying to figure out how to get three full Home Depot carts into a van – it came with a lot of laughing and some stares from random passersby. It was even more fun to put problem-solving skills to the test as we figured out how to reach that impossible spot to paint on a house or how we could make the entrance easier for a disabled homeowner. The skill of figuring out how to make something happen with limited time and resources is something that transfers to literally every job field, and it also makes for some hilarious stories.
3. You learn your non-negotiables
For some, sleep is more important than a daily shower. For others, the shower is worth the late-night trek. There is no better way to learn to prioritize than having a tightly scheduled day – you learn what is personally important and build habits of making time for things that matter to you (whether that’s a shower, quiet time with the Lord, or a phone call home).
4. There is beauty in the little moments
You come to appreciate the small things - like the pure joy on a student’s face when they cut through a board the first time, or when a Home Depot employee greets you by name in the contractor line. The craziness of the week also gives you a much deeper appreciation for moments of peace – stepping into a warm shower after a long day and enjoying the first sip of coffee at daybreak are infinitely sweeter than ever before
5. True community is more than a weekly meeting
This is by far the biggest takeaway from each summer – I walked into my first summer thinking community was a group of people who met once a week, and kind of cared about what went on in your life as long as it didn’t take too much effort. Working for TE revolutionized my view on what gospel-centered community truly was. Three summers ago, I met brothers and sisters from all over the country who would forever change my life. These people loved me and challenged me more than I ever thought possible. To this day, they are some of the first people who I can continually celebrate with and call on for prayer. Each summer that followed just expanded on my view of community, and I am forever grateful for that.