By Haldor Misje
This season, I have had the privilege of serving the campus full time in the more “behind the scenes” tasks. As Kitchen Coordinator, I have been planning all lunches and dinners for about 30-40 people every day. In Personnel, I have been communicating with potential future staff and volunteers who are inquiring about different things going on at YWAM Turner Valley. These roles and departments are important in creating a friendly atmosphere in the community or to be able to run schools in the coming future. These roles are not necessarily hands-on or student-related, but they’re “in the background.” There are many roles like this, required to run a ministry. We need people to do bookkeeping, maintenance, housekeeping, to work in admissions and communications, and more. Some things are covered as a part-time task in addition to the “main department” people are serving. But some tasks require people to be working full-time. This work is what is needed so that schools can run.
As I have been in these positions in the last few months, my work has not always come from a selfless heart that just loves to serve. Some days I find people picky about the food I’m cooking; sometimes I get questions that are annoying to answer. Some days I don’t want to cook anything.
Seeing how Jesus served while He was on earth, however, is challenging for all of us. In Philippians we read Paul’s words on how we are to act towards each other; Paul is showing what Jesus did while He was on earth:
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:1-8).
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. That is serving. It is putting other people’s needs above your own. I am not in the centre of my universe. I am called to love God and love others. For this time, that means serving in the Kitchen and in Personnel.
When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He shows them an example of servanthood that no one expected. Peter even tried to deny Jesus’ service.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).
God incarnate, served His disciples as a servant. God was cleaning the toilets; He was doing the dirty dishes when we just want to take a power nap. How hard it can be to serve others just for a season! And yet, Jesus came to live a life of serving others.
With that said, having Jesus’ perspective in mind, it is such a blessing to serve. Being in the kitchen, I get to interact with every single person at the campus, two times a day. I get to bring joy to tired, hard-working students, and industrious staff. The food I make starts off an hour of well-deserved lunch break time. I also get to be a part of God bringing new staff to our campus; I get to interact with people with a passion for Christ. I get to be a part of everyone’s lives. It is a lot of work, it is tiring, but it is also such a pleasure to serve.