Most of us intend to do it. We think about doing it. We talk about doing it. Sometimes we even include it in our New Year’s resolutions. Yet we tend to procrastinate and never follow through.
I’m talking about volunteering.
According to researchers, when we do make it over the hump and commit to helping others, we are rewarded with a number of benefits: longer life, greater satisfaction, lower blood pressure, etc.
Whatever they might be getting out of it, our faithful volunteers continue to make a lasting impact on Biblica’s worldwide ministry.
Take Lloyd for example.
A Bible verse motivated him to travel 7,500 miles to volunteer at the Biblica headquarters in Colorado. In Peter’s first letter, the apostle encourages Christ followers to “use whatever gift you have to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Lloyd is a CPA and small business owner who lives in Taranga, New Zealand. He chose to use his gift of accounting to serve others.
“Nearly two years ago,” explains Lloyd, “I approached Wycliffe/SIL about volunteering as an internal auditor. Our son worked with Wycliffe in Tanzania. He did Bible translation for them. Last year, they [Wycliffe] came up with all the places you can go to serve. While the program is for Wycliffe/SIL, they partner with Biblica. You get yourself to the place, at your expense. So I put down Colorado Springs as one of two places to go, the other being Germany. We’re big hikers so we were hoping for Colorado.
“We indulged our hiking desire along with our desire to do some work here.”
Their time auditing at Biblica was not their first venture into ministry work. Several years ago, Lloyd and Betty moved to Samoa for eight years and worked with a church, supervising the youth group. “God really blessed it,” Lloyd says. “It was just the right time, the right place. Lots and lots of young people came through the youth group, were saved and baptized. And then, they left to New Zealand.
“And now, those people who were in our youth group are the elders and pastors of the Samoan churches. It grew into a big network of churches.”
They continue to be involved in the Samoan Church in both New Zealand and Australia. And they are now once again engaged in international ministry.
“We came to donate a couple of weeks of our time to help Biblica ensure that things are being done right,” he explains. “An internal audit is the same all over the world – controls to make sure things are safe.
“It’s quite a big audit, but it’s a good thing. It’s all about responsibility to your donors, showing the money is being looked after. And I have to say that I’m disappointed – disappointed that I didn’t find anything that could be improved!
“I’ve also had my wife, Betty here with me. She’s been doing some reconciling to make sure things are right. She’s more the detail person. We’ve looked through the books for nine days, making sure the systems are in as good a place as they possibly can be.”
The work Lloyd and his wife did for Biblica was invaluable.
Olivia didn’t just volunteer with Biblica – she did a summer internship.
She not only knew nothing about Biblica before starting, she had never even heard of it. She was surprised to learn that Biblica is the steward of the NIV. Yet she said it felt like it was meant to be.
“I had no idea what to expect because I had never worked an office job before.” As a college student, she had previously been a cashier, a waitress… Never part of a ministry.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” she says, “but I did know that I wanted to learn some basic office skills. It fulfilled that definitely. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself and about ministry – what that looks like and what goes into it.”
Olivia’s background was a perfect fit for Biblica’s global reach. Born in Chicago, she had spent time in Beijing, Thailand, and was about to take a trip to Kenya. “I’ve never been to a place I didn’t like,” Olivia says of her travels.
On summer break from Westmont College, where she is majoring in English and Theater, she proved to be a great asset for Biblica’s marketing and communications team.
“I definitely feel like it was a very positive experience,” she says. Her advice to others considering volunteering or pursing an internship? “Go after whatever it is you’re going after. Don’t be too stressed or too afraid. That’s one of the things I learned this summer – how to ask for help. Be enthusiastic and focused, but still ask for help when you need it.”
Volunteering is defined as a free offer of time and energy to a particular cause or purpose.
We are so grateful to volunteers like Olivia and Lloyd for their willingness to selflessly assist in getting the Word of God into the hands of the people who need it most. Their faithful service is helping transform lives.