Experiences are a part of what life is all about. The thrill and nervous feeling about doing something completely different is where people can find life’s meaning and the discovery of joy. For a person like me, this idea pays dividends.

There is something about experiencing a new thing that makes me feel good about what I have just done. It’s a common trend from society that embracing new things should be encouraged and looked upon in a positive way. That notion is somewhat hard for a person like myself, who is most of the time an introvert, to fully believe.

This fall, I experienced something new that pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Experiencing new things, change, whatever it may be comes with a degree of vulnerability, and putting yourself out there can be uncomfortable or risky. Questions pop up in my head like: what’s going to happen? Is this going to go fine? What is the real reason I am doing this? Whether right or wrong, these questions surface from time-to-time. Once I put these negative thoughts to the side and focus on the positives, then I can begin to answer those questions.

This fall, I experienced something new that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I had the pleasure of visiting Mel Trotter Ministries as part of a class project for a course I’m taking at Calvin College. I had heard of MTM and was interested in learning more. Prior to visiting, I had never experienced what a non-profit organization is truly like or how one operates. I had my own thoughts and a few ideas, but they weren’t close to what I experienced during my time with MTM.

What I discovered was a snap-shot demonstration of the love everyone in this organization expresses. From the worker to volunteer, greeter to guest, this is apparent. The organization stands and lives by what its mission statement says. This was refreshing for me to see and opened my eyes regarding the level of care people here have. While taking a tour of the facilities, I found myself to be a bit overwhelmed and in awe. The realization suddenly came to me like never before. For the guests who come to MTM, what I’m seeing is a visual of their lives. Though, it is temporary for now.

Sitting down with complete strangers and simply being a listening ear to whatever they wished to speak about was refreshing.

I had the pleasure of visiting MTM for lunch to eat with the guests. Sitting down with complete strangers and simply being a listening ear to whatever they wished to speak about was refreshing. During both times I went, I noticed one common trend with the guests that I ate with that still strikes me.

Their positivity.

Despite their circumstances and situation in life, they chose to be positive. Whether they are experiencing homelessness, hunger, hurt, addiction, or mental illness, the guests could find one reason to smile and be thankful. The guests’ kindness and welcoming attitude was more than I could expect. It made me reflect on all the things I have in my life and how at times I can become unhappy. This is where it hit me that we as humans are all poor and reminded me that we all need to acknowledge our own brokenness and deep need for God.

I met people who have persevered through trials in their life, and at the end smiles abound.

The guests I encountered simply knew and had the mindset that things were going to get better. A testament to their positivity and determination that they are fighters, and will fight to improve their lives in any way. James 1:12 says that, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

I met people who have persevered through trials in their life, and at the end smiles abound.

This experience will be one that I cherish, and one in which I would be willing to do again one day. The inspiration I have gained through the people I met will never be lost. I thank God for organizations like Mel Trotter Ministries. Organizations that truly do the work of the Lord solely by helping those in need. This is what I noticed firsthand during my visits.

 

Written by Noah Certa

Noah CertaNoah is from Charlevoix, MI and currently is a junior at Calvin College majoring in Organizational Communications, with a minor in Writing. He writes for the Calvin Chimes (the campus newspaper) whenever he can, and during high school he wrote sports stories for his local newspaper (Petoskey News-Review). In his down time, he enjoys riding his bike, working out, spending time with his small group at church and catching up with news regarding his favorite sports team, the Chicago Cubs. 

Posted by:meltrotterministries

The vision of Mel Trotter Ministries is to end homelessness in West Michigan, one life at a time, through the power of Christ.

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