BY JAY VAN GELDER, YOUTH PASTOR AT HOPE REFORM CHURCH
I started going to the Marian House back in 1990 as a senior in High School. Every three years, there is a Youth Conference in Estes Park, Colorado, called, “Rocky Mountain High,” which my group and I always attend. The Youth Conference is a special place — this year 3,200 youth and sponsors gathered for a time of worship, fun, and digging deeper into their faith in Jesus Christ.
But, before we go to the conference, we have always stopped in Colorado Springs to serve in the community. We have found when students get to serve first, that they already experience what it means to be the “Hands and Feet of Jesus.”
It is very personal for me because I have watched the Marian House grow into a wonderful place that serves
many people over the years. I watched the construction of the new building and parking lot; both are such nice additions to the place. I can remember in 1996 when we trucked 500 hamburger patties from Corn Fed Iowa Beef to grill at the Marian House and serve people. I was on the grill, which was placed in the back of the old house. I remember also handing out pop to young kids, who responded, “I have never had my own pop before.” What a joy it was to bring a smile to that little kid’s face when he opened it up and tasted his first fizzy can of pop.
Today, the best part of serving at the Marian House is when I get to work in the dishwashing area. First, I just want to say, that it is a kind of intense place to serve, and at times dishes are flying, because of the speed at which people come through to eat. This spot is great for me because when done, you really felt like you just worked very hard. But the best part is when I get to say, “Have a great day,” or “You take care!” It is such a blessing to leave my comfort zone and serve with no strings attached like Jesus served while He was here on earth.
I am so happy to volunteer, organize our community service, and be a part of Marian House as it continues to be the “Hands and Feet of Jesus,” and to keep loving people like Jesus loved.