by Carla Long and Emily Penrose-McLaughlin
I was going to have such a cool life!
I mean, just think about it. I was a high school math teacher at the top of her game. I had just finished a Master’s Degree in Education. I was on my way to writing for math journals. I had ideas to write a math textbook, and I was in the midst of starting a Ph.D. in math education when it hit me:
World. Service. Corps.
And my life (and dreams of coolness) ended.
As I knew it…
However loudly fame in the math world called, God’s call was louder still. However persistent the call of integrals and Pythagoras, God’s call was even more persistent. However much I loved showing students how to make a pie chart (and I DESPERATELY love a good pie chart), I found that I loved God (and God loved me) oh so much more.
So, I took the leap. I left the comfort of my classroom and life in Independence, MO to travel to Binalonan, Pangasinan, in The Philippines. I won’t lie to you, it was hard. Really hard. And lonely. Really lonely. But in those hard and lonely times, I found a God that I hadn’t known in America. I found a God that was my friend no matter what, I found a God that was patient and kind, caring and understanding. I found that when you get right down to it, God lives in the simple things—the smile of a child you just met, the hug from your new brother or sister, your first taste of balut (okay, maybe that’s a stretch!), the smells in the marketplace. And God lived in me, too.
When I left the Philippines a few months later and went back to my life that I knew before, it was different. Pythagoras no longer spoke to me in the same language they did before. Pie charts still rocked, but now, I’d rather sit over a real pie, having a real chat with someone who needs it. I realized that a life lived without God at the center was no longer a life I was interested in. God had become an integral part of my life. (See what I did there?)
So, there you have it… my life ruined by World Service Corps.
I hope it happens to you, too.
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LET WORLD SERVICE CORPS RUIN YOUR LIFE
World Service Corps (WSC) is an international volunteer program and ministry of Community of Christ. Essential elements include: leadership, discipleship and cultural immersion. WSC alumni, like Carla, have shared about the transformative impact of their experiences.
The application deadline to serve as a volunteer in 2014 is January 31. Applicants must be 18 years or older.
Please note: applications for long-term volunteers, those wishing to serve 12 months, are accepted year-round.
Programs offered include:
- Short-term (2 months, late May to early August)
- International Guides, serving at church historic sites in the U.S. (3 months, April – June, open to non-U.S. residents)
- Regional, serving in/around country of origin (2 months, varying start/end dates)
- Long-term (1 – 2 years, must be 20 years or older, varying start/end dates)
*A commitment fee of $850 for short-term, $1,000 for long-term, is requested.