Volunteering at LifePath Christian Ministries was an eye-opening experience for the youth of Christ’s American Baptist Church in Spring Grove. But it was also surprising to the palate.
“One of the things they were all surprised about was that the food was good,” says Josh Trojak, the assistant pastor at the church. “There’s a stigma that a soup kitchen doesn’t have good food, that they just make food for people who are hungry. But there’s really a care and a love for the people they serve these meals to at LifePath.”
Having a tasty meal wasn’t the biggest surprise for the volunteer group, Pastor Josh says. They learn new and unexpected things all the time.
“We’ve been doing this for the past couple years, and what has astounded me with LifePath is that our kids keep getting to know more of what they do because they do so much,” he says. “We’ve only kind of gotten pockets and pieces here and there.”
The group spent a majority of their day cleaning, starting with the Learning Center – “we gave it a really good scrub and cleaning,” Pastor Josh says. While they were cleaning, they also got to learn about some of the new technology at LifePath and what it will be used for.
The youth also cleaned the main office, chapel, and hallways. They dug into organizing the area where the clothing donations are stored, which was getting a little “overwhelming.” The volunteers organized toiletries and clothes and prepared them to move into the thrift stores or the men’s and women’s ministries.
“I think the biggest emotional impact would be the crew that was doing the clothes,” Pastor Josh says. “Just seeing how much was there really impacted the two girls we had working there. I don’t think they realized how much support people in the community continue to give LifePath that way.
It really is a volunteer community effort, he adds.
“It’s not just one or two paid employees,” he says, “it’s the community coming together to make it work.”