MEET KATELYNN MOON: she turned a change of plans into a change of vision and found joy in serving.
What led you and your sister to want to serve in Nicaragua?
For the last several years, actually since before my sister was even born, my dad has had a special place in his heart for Nicaragua and has asked constantly for the two of us to go serve there with him. Last year, I finally got over my fear of international travel and went on my first mission trip to Costa Rica. It was AMAZING, and I didn't want to come home when the trip was over. This year, when we were presented the opportunity to go to Nicaragua together, I didn't hesitate. We signed up and began making plans to serve there this summer!
How did the recent COVID-19 pandemic affect your plans?
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were worried about how it would affect our trip, but we were still hopeful for a while that we would be able to go. As time passed, however, the virus moved to Nicaragua, and our trip was cancelled. Just weeks before this season, I had designed shirts through Fund the Nations to help us fundraise for our mission trip, but it turned into a different opportunity to raise funds for a different purpose. I began selling the shirts anyways, as a fundraiser for a local co-operative ministry, and the generosity of my friends and family and a bunch of total strangers was overwhelming. We were able to donate over $1,200 to this ministry! I'm so thankful to have been able to assist them financially as they continue to provide meals to hundreds of families right here in our area.
How are you seeing others love and serve well during this time, and how do you hope this inspires others?
Although there is a great amount of uncertainty and sadness right now in our world, I have absolutely loved seeing how people are serving and loving others so well, despite their own circumstances. There are many families all over my community who have posted on their social media accounts offering help of any kind to those who need it. Whether it's dropping off groceries, offering virtual homework help, delivering meals, or just sending words of encouragement, people are finding ways to support one another in this season. Joining in the effort of service and encouraging others has been so life-giving for me during quarantine, and I hope that everyone is finding ways to do the same!
If you could tell the world one thing about serving others, what would you say?
One of the most important things that you can to with the gifts that you have received is to share them with others. If there's even something small that you can give back to or offer someone else, you can make a serious impact. There's so much joy in that! Why would you not want to serve others?!
What advice do you have for someone who wants to serve during this trying time but doesn’t know where to start?
In the same way that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone in different ways, serving during this season also means something different for everyone. And the good thing is, no act of service is too big or too small! Anything that you can do in an intentional effort to make someone's life better is a valid act of service. Whether you can donate financially to support another person's needs or you just simply send words of encouragement via text or snail mail, you're doing work for the greater good! Just start somewhere and do everything that you do with a smile. It'll go a long way!
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Photos by https://www.instagram.com/kristenelisephoto/.