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I helped start SILO seven years ago because I have a deep interest in helping people. What I didn’t realize was how much it would help me! The saying “by watering others, you water yourself” became very real to me. So real, that if I don’t serve, I felt like I am missing worship- my expression of love to God.
Serving others helps all involved feel “good enough” to be loved. Giving and accepting the love from others helps us believe in and accept the love from God. When we feel good enough to be loved, we start believing in ourselves often giving back and building community around us.
Sometimes it can be hard to love people who are not good at loving you back, but it’s the most rewarding in the end. This challenge builds character- love character.
I learn humility from my SILO friends who have very little; I learn it more here than anywhere else. Through my SILO friends, I have seen different perspectives on thankfulness, joy and peace. People of SILO can have so many challenges in their lives- to the point of extreme pain and hopelessness- yet they will come to a meal and be cheerful.
Some of our SILO friends live in worlds of pain and sorrow, often because of situations beyond their control. One trauma can wipe them out, putting them over the edge with nothing left, homeless and hopeless. They need love and are often SO good at receiving it that it breaks your heart. In these moments, you get a glimpse of Jesus by “doing to the least of these.”
I love to see our 45 volunteers and how they come alive when they get a chance to serve. Many of our volunteers come to us with hearts full of experience in helping others; some are even professional caregivers.
Love is the answer. It’s our core value. Jesus said love him and your neighbor-every other value is summed up in that. SILO has become my favorite form of worship and it is a rewarding way to learn to love others.