Who I Am

At one of the weekly Stewards Departments meetings a couple of weeks ago, Peter Koontz made the comment and observation that many of the youth (people under the age of 25ish) don’t have the same work ethic as the ‘older’ generations.  I am part of this group, the youth, and at times I have to agree, we don’t know what work is. 

I was born and raised as a military brat.  For the first 16 years of my life, my father was an officer in the United States Army.  Looking back, I realize that I did not have a ‘normal’ upbringing.  While moving every two to three years may sound horrible to some, it actually wasn’t all that bad.  In all the years of watching my father in the military, I learned a lot about people, about family, faith and, most importantly, about diligence and hard work. 

While my family wasn’t rich (thank God for that), we weren’t poor either.  Yes, there were some hard times, we didn’t always have everything that we wanted, but we had everything we needed.  Both my mother and father worked hard to provide us with everything we needed and a few extra comforts in life. 

Everything I learned about good work ethics and hard work, I learned from watching all the years that my parents worked tireless hours to provide for us.  I get my opinions about work and work ethic from my mother and father. 

Someone once told me that the people who serve with Mercy Ships are rich, white kids who want to make a difference in the world.  I have seen people, youths, come aboard looking for a vacation, a break from the ‘real world’ and a time to relax next to a pool at a local resort hotel in Africa.  I have seen kids my age take their jobs like a joke, to skip out on work and act like they own this place. 

I’ve said it before.  I say it again.  Your work for God, be it in the missions field here in Africa, in the Philipines, Honduras, Russia, India, or in your own back yard, is your Job.  Especially if you take up a volunteer position with an organization (Mercy Ships, Akia-Ashianut, or wherever you are).  Your service is your act of willingness towards God. 

I learned from my parents long ago that when you work, you need to give all you have and more.  When you work for God, there is no excuse for not doing your very best.  You may not be the face of the organization (you may get ‘stuck’ serving food and washing dishes, or worse, washing toilets!) but your work still brings glory to God. 

While I am not always a good example of work ethic and hard work (my parents can attest to this) I am trying to do better.  In learning to live for and serve God, through serving people, I have come to realize I refuse to work less than my all.  I also won’t accept less out of anyone else that has been called to serve God. 

God Bless and PEACE


1 Comment »

  1. Winnie Dray Said:

    Having worked many years before retiring (much of that time with the Navy and DoD) I observed much that confirms your comments. It is not just the recent generation (though it seems to be more apparent over the years) that works to earn a paycheck rather than produce something that reflects the value of themselves and their efforts. Having worked for Mercy Ships for more than ten years after my retirement I observed much of what you have stated but there is fortunately a higher percentage of people who consider their efforts to have value for God, the people they serve and themselves.

    I commend you and your parents for developing in you a sense of value in your work and the understanding that everything we do is a reflection of the stewardship of God’s time and everything He has given us – air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat (it grieves me when I see people take large portions of food and then toss much of it in the trash).

    Keep up the good work – it shows you honor God!!

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