LOT318 Volunteers' Testimonies:

 

Alva Shell – Adult Volunteer/Retired Teacher

What an absolutely blessed summer it has been. God was so good to give me the opportunity to do three things I love. First being with kids. The kids from LOT318 are beautiful in every way; they are loving and friendly, and they are grateful and excited over the even the smallest things (like a special rock, or a chance to paint a picture). It's apparent that they have been exposed to the love of God through those that spend time with them. Second quality books . What a joy for me to go through my library and choose the books I treasure and share them with these students. Seeing the smiles on their faces, and hearing "Miss Alva, I loved that book" is a blessing money can't buy. Finally the chance to create a summer curriculum that will help students develop their reading comprehension, and give them a greater confidence in their abilities. Thank you Lord and thank you LOT318.


Chris - Biola University

I started participating in LOT318 on March 4, 2009. At first, it was only for an assignment for one of my classes. I didn’t really want to be there, and I resented the fact that I was being forced to participate in a ministry. I was also very hesitant because I don’t really like meeting new people and I have a small fear that I wouldn’t be able to relate or interact with the kids very easily. Everything changed after I got there. From the first day, helping Esther do her homework, to the multiple Tuesday night Bible studies I’ve been able to help out with, I’m glad I came. I’ve enjoyed interacting with the kids, getting to know them, and making friends with them. All my initial hesitations evaporated as the kids were open and welcoming. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to help out with LOT318, and I hope that I’m able to bless others at least half as much as God has blessed me through this ministry.


Daryn - Messiah Lutheran

My name is Daryn and I’m 16 years old. I’ve been volunteering at LOT318 for a while now, about seven months. Most people find Jesus Christ and then do something like LOT318. For me, it was the other way around. Meeting these kids and seeing their faith made mine so much stronger.

When I first started going, the kids were pretty rough around the edges. Every week, however, I saw an improvement. I saw the kids getting along with each other better and praying more and being more serious about their bible study. I’ve bonded with a lot of them and can’t imagine my life without them. They’ve all said and done things that surprised me and touched my heart but two stories stand out the most to me.

About two months ago, a girl comes up to me who was one of the hardest to reach at first, for me anyways. I was standing with my friend Chelsey who is short and tan with black hair and exotic features. I am tall and pale with blonde hair but she asks me if Chelsey is my sister. I looked at her, pretty confused because Chelsey and I look nothing alike and ask if we look like sisters. She said, “No no I meant is she your sister in Christ?” She went on to ask if she and I were sisters in Christ. To me, that was a huge step forward.

Another, more recent story for me was only two days ago. The LOT318 kids went to a camp and I went along as a counselor. We were on our way back from the camp and a little boy was falling asleep. The girl behind him offered him her pillow so he had something to lean on. She herself was falling asleep and chose to fall asleep on a blow-up piggy rather than her pillow so that the little boy could use the pillow. It’s not huge, but I thought that was a pretty cool thing for her to do!

I would say that volunteering at LOT318 has changed my view on life and even my life itself. I plan my week around the events and I love each of the kids. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to meet and hang out with them.

Like wings, they have weight, we feel that weight on our backs, but they are a burden that lifts us, burdens that allow us to fly. (~ Bones, FOX TV)


Geoff - Adult Volunteer

Over the last 6 months we have been working at LOT318 every Tuesday night doing a Bible study with the youth of LOT318'. When were first started this study we had no idea of how this was going to look or what God had in store. Our first Tuesday that we started this was one that was very challenging. We had around 15 kids that showed up on our first Tuesday. We had come to play games and also in hopes of doing some kind of Bible study. It was nothing of the sort our first week and the kids did not really want to listen or do anything structured. We had felt like this was going to be a failure and not ever going to work.

God had other plans in store! With much prayer, my wife and I felt God telling us to give it another week. The next week we were blessed to be given someone in the communities backyard to hold our study. We had less kids that week but we were able to share a story with the children from God's word. It was such a blessing because we had seen the Lord work in just one week.

We had no idea of how much God was going to bless this ministry! Over the next couple of weeks and months we were getting close to 25 kids every week coming to this study. Due to a lack of space we moved our location to the front yard of someone in the community. This location made it easier for children to see what was going on and to come join the Bible study. In addition to having more kids attend, God has been so awesome in providing us with more adult helpers. Having all of this help has allowed us to really be organized and strategic with this ministry. We have the manpower at this point to possibly do some more great things on Tuesday nights. An area of prayer that many of us feel led to do is to divide up the elementary kids and the junior high students. God will allow us to know when that time is. 

The greatest joy in regards to Tuesday nights is seeing the kids get excited to come and hear a short message from God's Word. We have been in the book of Genesis and are going to continue to show the kids how God created everything and eventually raised up a Savior in Christ. Our greatest prayer is that all of these kids will take with them the love of Christ and allow it to transform their lives. I have faith that God is doing something great on Tuesdays and over this Easter season we have taken a break from Genesis to show these kids how much God loved them so much to have His son die on the cross. Please pray these kids make the connection! 


Sara - Biola University

I have enjoyed working with the LOT318. At first, I was annoyed that our teacher assigned this. I was thinking that it wouldn’t be that much fun and it would just take time when I could be doing other things. I had just switched my major and I was not really sure if Christian Education was the major that God want me to be in. After coming to work with the kids, I felt like God was telling me that I had made the right decision. I was very nervous my first time coming out, but everyone there was really nice. It kept getting easier too, the more and more times that I went. I now look forward to going. Working with the kids has pushed me to want to learn more, so that I will have more to teach them. It has also helped me understand how to help them. It is great to see how much of an impact Letty and the other workers have made on the community.


Scott - Biola University

I was scared to reach out to kids who did not grow up like me. Kids who were a different race then me, a different level then me. They grew up on the streets not always having a mom and dad to have dinner with at night. How would someone who has had his parents, sister, grandparents and even aunt and uncle all be there for him going to help someone who may have none of the above? Well I decided I would simply care just like everyone cared about me.

I may have been born in to a very lucky situation, but it would be selfish not to share it with others. So I decided I would not fight this assignment from my teacher and embrace it. After all, I want to help kids when I finish college.

As I went to my first day to tutor it was raining so it was cancelled. I then came a second time and the kids were there. Running around or sitting, but looking everywhere; these kids did not know how to focus. But they showed up to get tutored when they could have just run away. They could have never reached out to get help and failed school. But something was different in these kids. I noticed this, as I would continue to help out. I would try to give some stability in these kids’ lives by sticking to a schedule. Showing that I did care and that I was not going anywhere.

As I noticed a young girl named Lluvia, who for the first time I met her wanted to read to me. This was part of their homework to read everyday. I began to listen to this little girl read and the level she was at was amazing. I thought first grade this I will have to teach probably a lot on how to read or how to pronounce words. This rarely happens. Lluvia is a student who is very smart and now will request to tutor with me. To know that I first doubted that I could help, to now knowing I am helping is totally transforming.

When I tutored Lluvia on a consistent basis I would push her to do more pages of homework in her weekly packet she would receive from school. I would say today let's do 4 pages and then oh let’s do one more. So she would say ok lets do one more but that’s it. I always wanted Lluvia to want to work and enjoy learning so pushing was essential to show the rewards. But one day she far surpassed my expectations by doings 6 pages without me pushing her.

I continue to help whenever and wherever necessary because it is an honor to be apart of these kids’ lives. When I look at the future when I am old and gray these kids will be the doctors, lawyers, and presidents. If we do not reach out to this future generation we will continue to have a lost and broken world. Change is apart of everyday life whether we want to admit it or not. We must decide to escort change in a positive way or a negative but either way it will happen. Why not show our future the right way according to God. Let’s show them the way that will benefit not just one person but every person on this Earth. So as I am fortunate to help out these kids for a required assignment, Letty, the founder of the organization, will be able to inspire for a long term. No matter how much you may doubt your ability to help others do not let that doubt hold you back. Instead go out there, help to create change in others for the better and come back home changed forever!