“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds, because
you know that the testing of your faith produces
perseverance.” James 1:2-3
Coming to Detroit was the biggest step of
independence I have ever taken in my life. I was
almost naive to the fact that I was moving away
from home, going out to serve the Lord and live a
life where I have real responsibilities like
paying rent or having to cook three meals a week.
Looking back to when I made the decision to come I
never considered the fact that I would be leaving
all my family, all my friends and everything that
I had ever known. This would be my first time in
America and I was going for 11 months! To do all
that at the age of 18, as a very big home bird,
was huge for me. It wasn’t until the honeymoon
period faded that I realised the step I had taken
and all of a sudden I became very home sick.
Those first 2 months were very difficult for me,
getting used to the cultural differences, trying
to get to know the people I’d be living and
working with (who I’d never met before), getting
to know the youth I was going to be working with,
finding out where all my service would be and a
lot more. And then I got to know the youth, and I
started to feel very much at home with them.
I serve in the Youthworks program Bezalel which I
absolutely love. As all programs that work with
kids are, the first day and every day since has
been crazy! But I love it. These kids come from
some of the most broken homes I personally have
ever experienced and yet they seem to have a real
authentic joy. There’s one kid in particular who
doesn’t come from a great home situation, but she
is also the most joyful of all the kids! She
sometimes can’t even contain her joy and she just
breaks out into these spontaneous dances of joy.
The amount I am learning from this 10 year old
girl on how to live a life of joy is unbelievable.
As I reflected on Lent just gone by and this
Easter season I am realising that Christ had joy
and he wishes us to have joy through everything we
do. Christ had joy through his passion, not
because of pain and suffering he had to endure,
but because he knew that God the father would look
after Him and he knew that he was doing his
father’s will, and that brought him great joy.
I am learning that God doesn’t give us an easy
path to walk, there are hardships involved in
doing His will, but there is no greater joy then
the joy you receive from doing His will. And so
I’m looking forward to working with all the kids
this summer and I’m very excited to learn more
from these kids on how to live a life full of joy.
“Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink
your wine with a joyful heart, for God has
already approved what you do.” Ecclesiastes 9:7
grew up in Dublin, Ireland in the Nazareth
Community and currently serves with YouthWorks-Detroit.
learn more about YouthWorks-Detroit
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