Is Volunteering Optional or Required?
In the past, before coming to SF Zion, I was never one to participate or involve myself in volunteer work. I always viewed volunteerism as an optional activity as there are many existing nonprofits doing work all across the world to improve the livelihoods of the less fortunate.
However, once I began learning more about God through the Bible, I began to perceive the heart behind the work of volunteerism. Jesus, who came from a commoner’s village known as Nazareth, and his disciples volunteered their lives by sacrificing themselves for the sake of all mankind to spread the gospel.They did not work for power, money, honor, nor for personal ambition. Rather, it was solely for the work of God in being a light to the world.
Volunteering is an Opportunity and Gift
These selfless acts, done not only by Jesus but also the many martyrs, has taught me what a heart of sacrifice truly looks like. Thus, having the privilege of serving as a volunteer in SF Zion is done out of a heart of filial piety towards God. As it says in John 1:1 and John 1:4, God equates himself with the Word and within His Word is light and life. Thus, I knew by possessing the Word of God in my hearts, I could become the light and part of shining the light is to carry out the work of volunteerism in the community.
Being a SF Zion volunteer has gifted me the opportunity of perceiving the duty of being a messenger of peace as I walk along this narrow path to heaven. Many opportunities have been given in order to grow a bigger heart of volunteerism. For example, I had a chance to deliver flowers to seniors from their family members in the community, plant trees at schools, pack care packages for families with firefighters and even help pack meals for community members. Interacting with the community in this way has broadened my perspective on what it means to be a light to the world. Spreading the love of God with my actions and words has certainly changed my perspective of the world, for we are all living in times of hardship, but now there is a greater hope for a brighter and better future.
My Favorite Part about Volunteering with SF Zion
My favorite part of being in SF Zion are the members because they are constantly working to be a light to the entire world and bring joy to others’ hearts without asking for anything in return. Again, there are numerous organizations and nonprofits that are volunteering to bring peace, but SF Zion is working to bring everlasting change and peace to this world. This is a peace not promised by man but by God through the Bible. In Revelation 21:3-4, it states that there will be a day when there is no more death mourning crying or pain. SF Zion continues to faithfully carry out the work of peace through sharing the truth from the Bible and carrying out good works in accordance with God’s word to help reflect God’s heart to many nations.
In the book of Isaiah 1, it also mentions how the truth will come out from Mount Zion, and here God will judge between nations and will settle disputes for many peoples and their spears will turn into pruning hooks. Nations will no longer take up sword against other nations nor will they train for war anymore.
There is a disappointing statistic that approximately 80% of wars are caused by religious conflict, for even one of the greatest war in history, the Crusades, was fueled by rage between the Christians and Muslims. However, I have had an opportunity to participate in interfaith webinars where different religious leaders come together and share in open dialogue about their own differing beliefs and scriptures.
Why I Volunteer
These promises in the Bible are what motivate my heart of compassion and kindness to participate in the works of volunteerism here in SF Zion. In the book of Numbers 23:19, God is described to not be like a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change his mind. Rather every time God speaks, He acts and every time he promises something, He fulfills it. Thus, the promise of peace is guaranteed to fulfill, but only as it is described in the Bible, for there is a way that a nation of peace fully fulfills. In coming to know God’s will, which is for all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4), I voluntarily invite family members, friends, and strangers to learn the Bible in order for them to perceive the work of peace God has planned.
Typically, people look to find their purpose through school, work, or hobbies to understand their calling in life. However, I was led to understand my calling through the time spent volunteering in SF Zion. My hope is to be the salt and light to the world as Jesus taught in the book of Matthew. Jesus said that we are the light of the world and a city on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. People instead place these things on a stand so it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, I am called to let my shine before men so that God can be glorified.