​Emma Stutzman serving in Kentucky through Mennonite Central Committee's SWAP program. Click image for high resolution image.

Monday, May 23, 2016

​A bonus of working with SOOP is getting to hear all of the wonderful things people say about the experiences, both from the perspective of the workers and of the local partners. Sometimes this feedback is just too good to keep to ourselves! Here's a taste:

From Camp Deerpark, Westbrookville, New York:

  • "Short-term SOOP volunteers have provided a burst of energy to our full-time staff.  In addition to hosting, SOOP volunteers have taken on a variety of outdoor projects, including flower beds, painting, small construction projects. The SOOP staff have been very helpful.  We have only had wonderful SOOP experiences."

 

From World Hunger Relief, Waco, Texas:

  • "Our SOOP volunteers are our favorite volunteers as they are hardworking, full of experience and wisdom, and just a delight to our community."

 

From Ben and Mary Jane Newcomer, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, serving in Phoenix, Arizona:

  • "We appreciated the local church emphasis on reaching their community in tangible ways. The work of the Mennonite Church is greater than the issues we sometimes get caught up in."

 

From Cheryl and Heber Ramer, Harper, Kansas, and Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church in Harper, serving in Harlan, Kentucky:

  • "As a couple we have struggled to have time in the mornings for a common devotional time.  Having a 'new' schedule gave us the insight/discipline to be able to maintain a common devotional time, and we have been able to continue this back in Kansas. There are so many people I met that I experienced God through.  As I heard their stories, I found myself being more bold in giving support/ affirmation and in sharing my story.
  • "We were looking forward to learning about a new place and new peoples.  We were surprised by how quickly the relationships developed and how much we learned.
  • "My SOOP experience was very beneficial for me in my transition from employment to my journey into retirement. I had recently retired from a fulfilling career as a manager of an engineering department.  SOOP was totally new and rewarding, so I could immerse in this experience and fill the void of the world of work.
  • "SOOP provided us with another first-hand experience of the church at work.  We are fairly aware of the ministries of the Mennonite Church; this experience blessed us with an 'on-the-job' exposure to another part of God's work in the world.  Being involved in specific work increases your interest, your giving financially, your prayers.  We worshiped with different groups (i.e., Catholic) at the camp, and attended a church in town from a different denomination, so came away with new perspectives/traditions to share with the Mennonite Church. On a side note, SWAP is a fantastic program. Not only does it provide needed help to people, but it is a wonderful teaching model about poverty and different cultures for the youth and groups that come 'to serve.'"

 

 

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