2011 Volunteer Conference ~ Dressed to Serve!

by Beckie Fingland, Ambassador Program Coordinator

Despite blowing snow, blizzard conditions and cancelled flights, volunteers from around the country gathered to attend the 2011 World Servants Volunteer Conference, Feb. 17-20, in Bloomington, Minnesota. It was a smashing success! The weekend event began with a scrumptious celebration dinner as Steve Suhi, volunteer mission leader from Murrieta, CA, served as our emcee for the evening.

Laughter rocked the room the rest of the night as Steve shared his witty humor, presented a mission-oriented clothing line "rejected by the TSA", introduced staff in their top-of-the-line designer "servant-wear" attire and led our volunteers to create their own unique "dressed to serve" outfits (see photos below).

Stephanie Boyd, World Servants Appalachia Area Director
Volunteers in their interpretive “Dressed to Serve” outfits. Area Director.

The fun evening set the tone for the next two days as World Servants' past, present and new volunteers focused on our 2011 mission year theme "Dressed to Serve", learned how to lead a successful mission trip, practiced cross-cultural training segments, and gleaned experience from each other. Many of the workshops were led not only by World Servants staff, but also by our long-term volunteers. World Servants regards all our volunteers to be a part of our extended leadership team. We certainly could not function without our amazing volunteers!

2011 mission season theme – “Dressed to Serve.”
Archie Luper participating in a training session.
Jay Bravinder, Volunteer Mission Leader – DR.
Getting to know each other and building relationships.
Training practice makes perfect.
David Griffith and Ruben Rodriguez getting to know each other.
Tiffany Wolf and Pattie Juarez, WS Interim Executive Director.
Emcee Steve Suhi, Paul and Daniel Morgan.
Michael Phillips and daughter Michaela.

One such volunteer is Michael Phillips from Locust Grove, Virginia. Since 2004, Mike has been involved with World Servants serving as a Construction Leader, Assistant Mission Leader and a World Servants Ambassador (see photo above).

After this conference, Mike wrote to us:

"World Servants has played a huge part in my life. Through World Servants, I have come to realize there is something God has for me to do. I have found my greatest moments of sanctuary, and the peace of God, sitting on a roof in West Virginia or eating lunch with Shaelyn and Summer the year after we served in Rosedale. World Servants mission trips are what set my heart and mind to go to Bible College. Most importantly, these mission experiences have given my daughter and me a safe place to grow together in the Lord. It has been my joy to be used by God to serve and help people, who in the end teach me more about God's love than I could ever imagine. Mission work is life changing. Serving really does change everything."

We hope what comes through loud and clear in this article is how much World Servants values their volunteers. They quickly become friends, as well as awesome mission leaders! Each year, we look forward to hosting the volunteer conference, where we not only train and learn together, but also have fun as we prepare for the coming mission season! Many thanks to Stephanie Boyd, our Volunteer Coordinator extraordinaire and Alan Hulley, Training Facilitator, for doing an exceptional job organizing the entire event.

Please consider joining us in 2012 if you are interested in getting involved as a World Servants volunteer! For more information contact Stephanie Boyd or call 800-881-2170.