​Todd and Leah Gusler, lead the 2010-2012 Service Adventure units in Raleigh, North Carolina.

By Todd Gusler
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

​I recently read that true Christian disciples never walk alone. While I don’t know if I always look the part of a “true Christian disciple,” a quick glance at my spiritual journey shows me how true this statement really is.

My wife, Leah, and I served as unit leaders of a Service Adventure household in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that, we lived in northern Indiana where, along with taking seminary classes, I served as a youth pastor. When the opportunity to go to North Carolina was presented to us, Leah and I were excited yet apprehensive. Accepting the position as unit leaders meant we would quit our jobs, extend my seminary education, and leave our community.

In our time of uncertainty, we turned to the couple who had married us and whom I served alongside as staff at our church. Like us, early in their marriage they had the opportunity to serve far from home. They told us their story, about the risks they took and the things they gave up. The journey was difficult at times, but even so, they said it was all worth it, and encouraged us to follow God’s calling.

Upon our arrival in Raleigh we found their advice to be true. Throughout our time there, we experienced both amazing moments and times of difficulty. Many of the young adults who came into our household had profound questions about life, faith, and who they were called to be. As we got to know each of them, we had the chance to talk about their hopes and dreams, and to challenge when necessary. It was a humbling opportunity to be in a position to walk with these young men and women during their terms of service. At the end of each year, we were always amazed at how much participants had grown in their sense of self-worth and the calling of God in their lives.

We also continued to seek out people to mentor us during our time as unit leaders. Leah connected with a neighbor with whom she often would go on walks to process the happenings in our life and seek advice. I connected with Duane Beck, the former pastor of Raleigh Mennonite Church, who later became an official mentor for me as I completed a seminary required internship. Both of these individuals, along with many others in our community, encouraged us in our ministry, provided outlets for us to express our feelings, and walked beside us continuously.

Now, two years removed from my Service Adventure experience, I serve as a pastor. As I lead a congregation through the anxious times of this current church climate, I find myself more and more appreciative of those who walked alongside me. From their encouragement and guidance I have learned what it means to be a leader, and have developed confidence in my own pastoral abilities.

I am also left with the realization of how important my own encouragement and guidance can be. I hope that just as I was blessed by others, I can follow their example, because walking together makes better disciples of those who need the company and those who do the accompanying.

 

 

 Related

 

 

God laughsWorld Laughter Dayhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4696/God-laughsGod laughsGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Like Jesus, 'Juan' Driver encouraged women in ministryRemembering John Driverhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4685/Like-Jesus-Juan-Driver-encouraged-women-in-ministry-Like Jesus, 'Juan' Driver encouraged women in ministryGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
While celebrating Lord’s supper, Ukrainian church leader identifies with people’s painUkrainehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4679/While-celebrating-Lord’s-supper-Ukrainian-church-leader-identifies-with-people’s-painWhile celebrating Lord’s supper, Ukrainian church leader identifies with people’s painGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Odesa
Prayer amid a new reality of warUkrainehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4677/Prayer-amid-a-new-reality-of-warPrayer amid a new reality of warGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Ghanaian church leader says women will carry church to “next level”Women's History Monthhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4674/Ghanaian-church-leader-says-women-will-carry-church-to-next-levelGhanaian church leader says women will carry church to “next level”GP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Vacation Bible school in Brazil a blessing to both students and teachersBrazilhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4670/Vacation-Bible-school-in-Brazil-a-blessing-to-both-students-and-teachersVacation Bible school in Brazil a blessing to both students and teachersGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Caruaru
Valentine cookies are a sweet reminder to pray for peaceKoreahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4669/Valentine-cookies-are-reminder-to-pray-for-peaceValentine cookies are a sweet reminder to pray for peaceGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Namyangju
Internationally known peacemaker launched vocation with Mennonite Mission NetworkMJ Sharphttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4665/Internationally-known-peacemaker-launched-vocation-with-Mennonite-Mission-NetworkInternationally known peacemaker launched vocation with Mennonite Mission NetworkGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Some reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.Black History Monthhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4663/Some-reflections-on-Martin-Luther-King-JrSome reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.GP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
A Guatemalan mountainside was exactly where I needed to beCASAS Internshiphttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4660/A-Guatemalan-mountainside-was-exactly-where-I-needed-to-beA Guatemalan mountainside was exactly where I needed to beGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476San Pedro Carchá, Alta Verapaz
Mennonite women in Congo spread the gospel through literacyLiteracy in Congohttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4656/Mennonite-women-in-Congo-spread-the-gospel-through-literacyMennonite women in Congo spread the gospel through literacyGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Service illuminates good in the worldService Adventurehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4655/Service-illuminates-good-in-the-worldService illuminates good in the worldGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Anchorage, Alaska
Service is a new adventure at 61 degrees northService Adventurehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4654/Service-is-a-new-adventure-at-61-degrees-northService is a new adventure at 61 degrees northGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Anchorage, Alaska
Understanding the world through the lens of MississippiService Adventurehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4653/Understanding-the-world-through-the-lens-of-MississippiUnderstanding the world through the lens of MississippiGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Jackson, Mississippi
A big tree has fallen in South Africa, nation mournsArchbishop Desmond Tutuhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4647/A-big-tree-has-fallen-in-South-Africa-nation-mournsA big tree has fallen in South Africa, nation mournsGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476

 

 

​Todd Gusler is currently a pastor at Rossmere Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is married to Leah Gusler and is a father of two. Todd and Leah were Service Adventure unit leaders in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 2010–2013.



 

 

Youth Venture trip provides mentorship, plants seeds for future servicehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4706/Youth-Venture-trip-provides-mentorship-plants-seeds-for-future-serviceYouth Venture trip provides mentorship, plants seeds for future serviceYouth Venture/SOOP hybrid
Bokgoni Sporting Club offers a better future through recreational sportshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4705/Bokgoni-Sporting-Club-offers-a-better-future-through-recreational-sportsBokgoni Sporting Club offers a better future through recreational sportsBokgoni Sporting Club
Stir Up Peace webinar with Sarah and Jonathan Nahar on the nonviolent direct action video serieshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/stir-up-peace/4704/Stir-Up-Peace-webinar-on-the-nonviolent-direct-action-video-series-with-Sarah-and-Jonathan-NaharStir Up Peace webinar with Sarah and Jonathan Nahar on the nonviolent direct action video seriesLive event
New legal office to offer immigration justicehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4702/New-legal-office-to-offer-immigration-justiceNew legal office to offer immigration justiceLa Posada
Nuevas formas de ser iglesiahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/video/4701/Nuevas-formas-de-ser-iglesiaNuevas formas de ser iglesiaLa Conferencia Sent 2022
Mission Network welcomes new directorshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4703/Mission-Network-welcomes-new-directorsMission Network welcomes new directorsNews Release