“Whatever you do, do it as service to [God], and He will guarantee your success.” Proverbs 16:3 (VOICE)
At the beginning of 2017, I selected the verse above and used Bible Gateway to read nearly every version available in order to determine which one I liked best before writing it on a bright colored paper and posting it on my office door. Certain words popped out to me for being simple yet powerful: whatever, service, guarantee, and success. I wanted to remember this entire year that anything I do with a servant heart is guaranteed by God (the Big Man Upstairs who always keeps his promises) to be a success.
That’s one of many examples of how words are important to me. I have loved to read since I was a child, and even now will take time to look up a word in the dictionary. I majored in English, eventually became an eighth grade English teacher, and took my first job at Baddour Center as a “Staff Writer.” As I chronologically age and hopefully become wiser, I strive to use words that build people up, instead of tearing them down.
YOUR Summer Program recently came to a close for this year, so I was reflecting on the planning that we did, as well as the actual implementation of those plans. Debriefing, I believe it’s called in event planning.
A few of the words that come to mind for the planning phase include engaging, meaningful, fun, budget, applications, TB skin test, medication, purchase requests, daily schedule, staff schedule, timelines, cleaning, and checklists.
However, when I think about the four weeks when we served 37 individuals from six different states, the first words that come to mind are “big personalities”, “memories”, “safety”, “courage”, “laughter”, “trying something new”, “talent show”, “self-advocate”, “excitement”, “new and old friends”, “pictures”, “food”, and (parents’) “tears of joy”.
Your Opportunity for a Unique Respite (YOUR) Summer Program takes my job as The Baddour Center’s recruiter from names on applications to people with vitality. So, the final word (and thought) I will leave with you is this: People!
The Baddour Center would not exist without the individuals and families whom we serve, and the same goes for YOUR Summer Program. It’s the PEOPLE who make my job, summer program, our campus, and everyday life amazing! From the bravery of some participants who stayed away from mom and dad for the first time to hearing participants giggle with new and old friends, I am thankful to God for granting us success and consider myself abundantly blessed that I spent time with four incredible groups of young men and women during the 2017 YOUR Summer Program!!
Oops, one more word: pictures. Check out our Closing Ceremonies slideshows on Baddour Center’s YouTube channel.