It was the summer of 2014 when I was asked if I wanted to go to Malibu Canada to serve military families with my church. At first I heard this and chuckled to myself thinking “You are asking an eleven year old in his last weeks of summer if he wants to go on a trip with his mom to Canada to serve other people, yeah, thanks but no. Of course, I responded with a kind no, but my mom found a way to convince me to go. At that time I didn't realize that you shouldn’t try to dodge doing something that could change your life and even someone else’s.
When we were on the ferry to the island I was going to be working on, I was not happy. A thousand thoughts were running through my head, such as “what am I going to do here”, “am I even going to be useful”, and “why am I even here?” Now that I'm a few years older I can say I was being a very selfish kid and it showed. I was complaining, and to top that off my attitude wasn’t too great. When we got to the island we waited for the military families to get there. When they got there we all cheered and celebrated their arrival. I was assigned to the child care which I truly didn’t mind. I was actually somewhat excited because my friend would be helping me. The first time I met the kids I got to know them pretty well, they were all between the ages of four and six, and they were pretty nice kids. After they got comfortable with me they started to act the way they normally acted. Some of them stayed behaved and a few of them started acting crazy and would even hit and push the other kids. With those kids I was very stern and not very forgiving with them, but I still tried to be positive and maintain a smile. It took me a while but I realized most of these kids didn't normally have a father figure around them and weren't well disciplined. I felt really bad about treating those kids differently and changed my whole attitude towards them. Of course, I wasn’t just helping the kids I also helped with laundry, setting tables, and picking up after all of them, even though it doesn't sound like a blast, I enjoyed every second of it.
One of the things I did in my freetime was I played pool. I befriended a few kids who were part of those military families. One of the kids I became close with. He was around my age and was really easy to talk to, he became one of my few friends I had there. Some of the things we talked about were sports, food, videogames, and most of all pool. We would usually talk about stuff when we played pool. As we talked, one of the topics that came up was where we lived. I said I lived in Oregon and he said something that really made me think. He told me he moved around a lot and that his Dad wasn’t there most of the time. Of course when it came time for us to leave I told him I would try to stay in contact with him through xbox or social media but I was never able to find him. In the time I was there I tried to talk to him about God and it wasn’t hard because he already had an idea of who God was and what he did for us. Of course, I told him a little bit more about God and when he started asking some questions about him I felt like I had made just a slight difference in his life and to me that's all I could of wished for.
Even though I was only at Malibu, Canada for one week I feel like I made spiritual changes in some people's life. You don't have to go above and beyond to make a difference in someone's life, in the end it all comes down to what way you changed them, it could of been in a spiritual way or a mental way as long as you had a positive effect. So go out and try to make a difference in this world.