Choosing to Serve

Spring Break at the Institute for G.O.D. 

At the Institute for G.O.D. International, we strongly believe that the Bible is learned best when it's lived out. Thus, our classroom extends beyond the typical four walls and into a myriad of service and learning opportunities. With classes out this week for Spring Break, many of our students used their additional time to meet needs and develop skills to benefit others. Take a look below to find the various ways in which our students served this week!

Three years ago, Rebekah Davis was compelled to begin a driver's education course after meeting a Burmese refugee who had been unable to attain his license due to the language barrier (more on that story here). Now, our organization regularly works with the Burmese refugee community and this course remains one of their most frequent requests for assistance. This week, Rebekah passed her curriculum on to Amanda Byrd and Ryan McAllister, Institute students who will teach this course in the coming session. 

Three years ago, Rebekah Davis was compelled to begin a driver's education course after meeting a Burmese refugee who had been unable to attain his license due to the language barrier (more on that story here). Now, our organization regularly works with the Burmese refugee community and this course remains one of their most frequent requests for assistance. This week, Rebekah passed her curriculum on to Amanda Byrd and Ryan McAllister, Institute students who will teach this course in the coming session. 

In case you missed it, this week we held our annual Neighborhood Swap (photo story and article here). It takes many hands to collect, organize, and disperse the MANY items from this event. One set belongs to Jameson Parker who lent his muscles and truck to transporting items to a church of East African refugees. 

In case you missed it, this week we held our annual Neighborhood Swap (photo story and article here). It takes many hands to collect, organize, and disperse the MANY items from this event. One set belongs to Jameson Parker who lent his muscles and truck to transporting items to a church of East African refugees. 

Derek Bargatze, manager of Students Living a Mission, works with Brianne Botzum to finalize community service opportunities in preparation for a busy summer.  Brianne is developing her administrative skills as she assists in all of the behind-the-scenes work that makes our NSHVLL service weeks possible for hundreds of students each summer. 

Derek Bargatze, manager of Students Living a Mission, works with Brianne Botzum to finalize community service opportunities in preparation for a busy summer.  Brianne is developing her administrative skills as she assists in all of the behind-the-scenes work that makes our NSHVLL service weeks possible for hundreds of students each summer. 

Kyle Becker, who was known as 'most likely to become a lumberjack' in high school, now uses his tree-chopping skills to aid in clearing the land behind our property. There is no shortage of opportunities to provide volunteer labor around our property, where we are always growing, expanding, and changing to best fit how we serve those in need. 

Kyle Becker, who was known as 'most likely to become a lumberjack' in high school, now uses his tree-chopping skills to aid in clearing the land behind our property. There is no shortage of opportunities to provide volunteer labor around our property, where we are always growing, expanding, and changing to best fit how we serve those in need. 

Josie Putnam is in her first semester at the Institute and has immediately plugged into serving in a variety of ways. You'll find her designing infographics to communicate about our development activity or helping create the set for a recent theater production, and then she also helps our organization stay caffeinated and productive through volunteering at our barista bar! 

Josie Putnam is in her first semester at the Institute and has immediately plugged into serving in a variety of ways. You'll find her designing infographics to communicate about our development activity or helping create the set for a recent theater production, and then she also helps our organization stay caffeinated and productive through volunteering at our barista bar! 

As spring approaches, there are an abundance of tasks to complete in our community garden. This week, however, our Hopewell Gardens manager, Seth Davis, was implementing his agricultural expertise in Uganda. In his absence, many Institute students worked together to ensure the garden continued functioning properly, including Austin Milliron (pictured above), who helped with our abundant spinach harvest. 

As spring approaches, there are an abundance of tasks to complete in our community garden. This week, however, our Hopewell Gardens manager, Seth Davis, was implementing his agricultural expertise in Uganda. In his absence, many Institute students worked together to ensure the garden continued functioning properly, including Austin Milliron (pictured above), who helped with our abundant spinach harvest. 

Kara Hadley is passionate about health care, nutrition, and most of all, providing compassionate care to the vulnerable. Her willingness to serve puts her everywhere from the bedside of widows in declining health to accompanying mothers with multiple children to doctor's appointments. This week, she also helped prepare a special dinner for a recently formed support group for mothers of children with special needs. 

Kara Hadley is passionate about health care, nutrition, and most of all, providing compassionate care to the vulnerable. Her willingness to serve puts her everywhere from the bedside of widows in declining health to accompanying mothers with multiple children to doctor's appointments. This week, she also helped prepare a special dinner for a recently formed support group for mothers of children with special needs. 

Butchering chickens can be a somewhat gruesome task, but might be more tolerable when it's done with your friends. Colin Kagay and Andrew Wolfe were amongst a group who volunteered their Saturday morning to efficiently process over 50 chickens - a skill useful both here and in our third world development efforts. 

Butchering chickens can be a somewhat gruesome task, but might be more tolerable when it's done with your friends. Colin Kagay and Andrew Wolfe were amongst a group who volunteered their Saturday morning to efficiently process over 50 chickens - a skill useful both here and in our third world development efforts. 

Gabby Ladd currently interns at the Academy for G.O.D., where her love for children and education are combined. She is learning both administrative and classroom management skills under the supervision of Academy teachers. This week, she assisted in the tedious, but crucial screening process necessary for adding books to the school library. 

Gabby Ladd currently interns at the Academy for G.O.D., where her love for children and education are combined. She is learning both administrative and classroom management skills under the supervision of Academy teachers. This week, she assisted in the tedious, but crucial screening process necessary for adding books to the school library. 


"The Bible is meant to be lived, not just talked about!" is something we often tell our students. It's quite the blessing to see them make intentional choices to make their days count and serve those in need. All of the above photos are just a sampling of wonderful ways that our students serve--not because they have to, but because they want to. There were no mandatory service hours required during Spring Break. This was simply what they chose to do. In this, we see that their hearts are being conformed to the will of God, who is concerned with helping the weak, and we couldn't be happier about it.