“If you love sports,” says volunteer Henry Thiessen, “imagine your favorite baseball or football team winning the championship. Then picture yourself as the equipment manager or the ball boy of that squad. It would be very exciting!”
In 2014, Henry and his wife Mic, educationalists from Canada with five grandchildren, signed on for three months as volunteers at Haggai International’s Mid-Pacific Center. They’d done volunteering before, with the Mennonite Disaster Service in Alabama & Mississippi, and enjoyed hiking, walking, camping, exploring and meeting friends.
But volunteering at Haggai International – supporting some of the world’s most influential Christian leaders – was an extraordinary experience.
Says Mic, “You would think that menial tasks such as making beds, cleaning, vacuuming, mopping, gardening and pool-cleaning, would go unnoticed. Yet a woman leader from Haiti said to me, ‘When you do this it makes me feel like a princess’ – and then she started to cry.”
That reaction isn’t unusual. Henry explains, “They are surprised to find that these white North American grandpas and grandmas – who are not getting paid, and who are not that young – are willing to do the grunt work so men and women from developing countries can focus on their Kingdom-building work.”
Other volunteers are just as enthusiastic.
Fred and Janie Hettinga of Canada have recently completed their eighth 3-month stint at the Mid-Pacific Center, and they count meeting the participants as a highlight.
Mark and Polly Thomas from the USA agree: “It has been, and continues to be, an opportunity like no other, to meet Christians from countries outside of North America in a setting that allows denominational, cultural, economic, racial and gender barriers to disappear.”
You go to Maui, say Henry and Mic, “to forget about your own agenda and look at a bigger picture, to bask in the warmth and beauty of God’s creation, to grow and meet God’s people from all over the world.”
It’s not just the pleasure of spending time at a top facility in one of the world’s most prized tourist destinations. Volunteers become a crucial link in the machinery of world missions. As one leader put it, “every drop of sweat is a tear of intercession.”
New volunteers are always welcome if they can meet the Haggai International criteria. It’s hard work. But volunteers never complain. As Henry and Mic say, “There are any sore muscles, many new cleaning techniques, hair dripping wet from headbands not quite doing the trick, many stops for water breaks – and many howls of laughter, and many new found friends!”
If you have a heart for servant leadership, and feel God calling you in this direction, please pray about it, and then contact our Volunteer Coordinator at Volunteer@Haggai-International.org or request more information by clicking the button below.