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In January of 1981, Ruth Vos made a New Year’s resolution to re-evaluate her priorities. She placed God at the top, and then worked her way down to “community” at the bottom. As a young mom, she didn’t have many free moments to spare, but she wanted to do something to make a difference. “If you wait until you have the time, you’re never going to do it,” she says.
That January was also the eighth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. Crisis pregnancy centers were opening across the country, offering physical, emotional and spiritual support for women in need of help. Ruth contacted Lifeline pregnancy center in Beaver, Pennsylvania to see what she could do.
“At first, I was positive that I didn’t want to counsel,” Ruth says. She didn’t know what it was like to be an unwed mother, alone, afraid and considering abortion. But after a while, she realized that sharing love, not experience, was the best way to help.
In 2004, Allyson Bentz found herself in a similar situation. A recent graduate of Geneva College, she was looking for a way to help out in the community. As a student, she had spent an afternoon folding baby clothes at Choices Pregnancy Center in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. She contacted the director and was asked to come in for an interview.
But Allyson’s interview never happened. When she arrived at the center, she learned that a baby had just been dropped off on the doorstep. “I held the baby while the director and other volunteers talked to the mom,” Allyson says. “I just remember thinking, wow, some people have no place to go and this ministry really changes people’s lives.”
Allyson knew she wanted to help, but she felt unqualified and inadequate. “Who am I to talk to these women?” she says. “I haven’t been pregnant and I don’t know what they’re going through. But when it comes down to it, all of us have the same need for love and for someone to listen, and that’s something I can offer in some way.”
Volunteering isn’t easy. It’s hard to make the time, to find the energy, but Allyson likes to remember Proverbs 11:25: “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
Fellow Choices volunteer Shannon Gallagher agrees. “It’s amazing what God does with just a little bit of faithfulness,” she says. “I always come in with the mindset of ‘I’m going to help someone,’ and walk away feeling like I’ve grown and learned so much.”
Find out how you can make a difference in your community. Talk to members of your church or city, or go to www.volunteermatch.org. For more information about abortion and pro-life issues, visit www.nrlc.org.
Ruth Vos is a staff support for the music and biology departments at Geneva College. Allyson Bentz is Assistant Director of Financial Aid, and Shannon Gallagher is an enrollment counselor for the Geneva College Degree Completion Program.
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Rolling out the red carpet for high school musicals
Campus fair makes ACCESS more accessible
Tom Bova: The Voice of the Golden Tornadoes
My dog, a springer spaniel named Maggie, came to me by way of a young woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25.
Annual Geneva College Day at Pirates Spring Training
The gift of time
"Volunteers are the most valuable human resources of any organization."
Geneva College recently held its annual volunteer luncheon to honor the many people who give their time, energy and skills to support the institution and its students. Pictured from left are volunteer James D. Carson, former pastor and member of the Geneva College Board of Corporators, and Events Coordinator Judy Boggs.
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. – James 5:16
How can we can pray for you?
The marketing and institutional advancement offices pray every week for students, faculty, alumni and friends of the college, and other prayer meetings also take place regularly on campus.
Click here to send us your prayer requests.
@Geneva is a regular electronic newsletter celebrating the latest developments at Geneva College. This newsletter is prepared by the college's department of marketing services and public relations for the campus community, alumni, parents, donors and other friends of Geneva College.
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