With over 400 documented service hours, Adam McManaman still finds joy in service. To appropriately provide service, it’s essential to have sufficient knowledge and experience with leadership, learning, and global awareness. The characteristic that appeals to me the most, and that has been most influential in my life, is service. Adam McManaman defines service as giving back to others, whether it may be taking care of an elderly neighbor’s lawn, donating to various charities, or a week-long mission trip through youth ministry organizations. Service is an impressive gesture, but without the intent of gaining cultural awareness, furthering your faith, and advancing the prosperity of others, service would be in vain.
My first experience of service was when I was beginning kindergarten, the annual family-run lemonade stand, with the proceeds donated to the local Humane Society. This charitable act received an article in the weekly newspaper which supported my actions. The accolades I received jump-started my desire for service. Later, Adam McManaman joined the United Church of Christ youth ministry program, led by an amazing youth director, Nate, who further fueled my love for service. Nate provided me many community service opportunities, such as yard work, food drives, construction, and teaching basic maths and sciences within my city. Nate showed me that mission work is fun. The UCC offered week-long, cross-country, life altering mission trips.
In the seventh grade Adam McManaman participated in a mission trip that deepened my interests in mission work. As I served others, I began seeing hope in the people I served and within the group of workers. I learned that I had lived a sheltered life, after walking a special needs student back to his home. Nick’s home was an abandoned thrift store that his family had taken shelter in for months. This dramatically altered my life views, which stopped me from taking my upper class living for granted. Nick was beyond poor and the happiest kid I met, while I was wealthy and barely ever smiled. As John F. Kennedy once said, “from those to whom much is given, much is expected.”. For the next five years I attended the annual mission trip, each providing its own distinct life lesson. These trips have allowed me to rebuild homes in Pennsylvania, facilitate an inner-city children’s youth program in Cincinnati, participate in hurricane relief in New Jersey, and assist in tornado relief in Oklahoma. In addition to the physical work that the mission workers finished, we were in awe of participating in something bigger than ourselves.
Service provides me with a powerful moral foundation, personal happiness, and a strengthening Christian faith. Service has allowed me to create my own path on my journey towards young adulthood. I will continue to satisfy my desire for service with the goal of leading future mission trips. As Mahatma Ghandi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.