trying something new {guest post by Corbett}

I asked Corbett (my 13 year old) if he would write a guest post about his time in China and specifically volunteering at New Day Foster Home. Much to my delight – he agreed. I’m proud of him for a million reasons and I am also so grateful that whole heartedly was up for guest posting. Please welcome him here today…

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There I was sitting in a fun local restaurant, sipping a Sprite, and waiting for the dinner I would take back to our apartment when I thought, “What I would I have thought if I knew what I was going to do in China?” It kind of cracked me up – thinking of what my response would have been.

I ate grasshoppers, rode mopeds, slept in a camp with about 40 random Chinese families and played endless rounds of volleyball. It was kind of what I expected China to be like.

What I didn’t expect was to get to have the incredible experience of also serving at New Day Foster Home for 3 months. Before we left for China, I wanted to go for a shorter amount of time. I didn’t want to leave in the middle of summer break and sit in a apartment while my friends were swimming and hanging out. When we first arrived at New Day I was pretty bored, but I soon learned that I could serve with preschoolers. I kind was lukewarm about it. I didn’t even remotely know how much that experience would impact me.

Three months later I was sitting in a toy room pretending to eat plastic food with preschoolers, while trying to understand two hilarious nannies chatting in Chinese. I spent most of the day, five days a week for three months serving in the preschool. I got hooked and didn’t want to stop.

I may have impacted the kids there (you can never know for sure), but what I know is that they greatly impacted me. The experience I got was 100% better than swimming back home. Before China, I had never served with kids in my church. I always had this impression that kids just wear you out and its pointless to try to teach them anything. Maybe that comes from having four younger siblings. Since my time in China, I’ve used what I learned and started serving at my church with preschoolers, something I never would have done.

I also started assistant coaching by brother’s football team, which I’ve had more fun than I would ever have guessed. In many ways being with the kids in China has been more beneficial than any story or movie I’ve ever seen. Serving with the kids humbled me in ways, I never would have known before. They taught me how to be thankful for things, I never was really thankful for before.

The biggest thing I think I took from my experience was to change from “No” to “Yes” as my first answer when it comes to serving and to try the things I would otherwise be scared of doing.

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