Friday, October 14, 2005

Pre-Theology Ministry Log 01

As part of pre-Theology at St. Mary's, the guys are broken up into pairs and assigned a "placement" to do volunteer work three hours a week. After each time we go we have to do a little writeup about the experience and send it to our Mentor at the seminary. I think I may post these here. A buddy of mine, Vic, and I have been assigned to the St. Ambrose Family Outreach Center.

Here's the first one:

Pre-Theologian Ministry Log

Date: Oct 13, 2005

Event: St. Ambrose Family Outreach Center: Helped a young black girl in the 9th grade with a computer project, tutored an older black lady in math who was studying for her G.E.D.

Name the feelings you experienced during the event: The girl was working on a project in which she had to research one of the top black colleges and universities in the country that was assigned to her and then create a calendar on the computer putting a different fact about the school on each day. I helped her find two different sources of information online for Howard University. I was surprised at how well she was able to gather the information she already had before I started helping her. I was also surprised at how open she was to my help and how comfortable she seemed around me. I had expected some hesitancy on the part of the teens to work with someone new to the center. After I helped her, I overheard two ladies at the front desk wondering why the spacing was off on an outline they were preparing for a class the next day. I suggested the “tabs” were off and was able to fix it for them. They were very thankful. I was then asked if I could tutor an older black lady in Math. One of the ladies at the front desk said that she had given her some trouble and “she’ll talk your ear off.” I thought that was a little unprofessional but then I realized that the atmosphere was very laid back and all of the folks there at the center seemed to have a great relationship with the volunteers. When I started to help her I found her to be very pleasant and I enjoyed working with her. She seemed to enjoy it too and was also very thankful. I think I helped her learn the set of problems she was working on too. Overall it was a very positive experience. Honestly, being the only white person there, I expected some walls to be up initially. But it wasn’t like that at all. I felt good about myself, working with the younger girl, the ladies at the front desk, and the older lady. A young lady in charge of the teens was very excited to know I worked as a software developer for three years prior to seminary. I think she was a little unsure how this calendar project was going to pan out. I felt very good helping the people there.

What was difficult and or troubling? Why? Nothing difficult or troubling except for the slight remorse I felt for underestimating the people there.

Where was God in this event? There was a Sister in charge there, working with the folks studying for their G.E.D. So of course, God was there in her. And when Vic and I would introduce ourselves as being from St. Mary’s people seemed genuinely happy to hear that. That was comforting.

What have you learned about yourself in the wake of this event? That I like helping people learn. I want to be a positive influence very much, especially with the teens.

1 comment:

subrosa said...

what a wonderful experience. keep me udpated about what you do here. if you need any suggestions on community building, drop me a note. :-)