Erin Hogan, a future World Racer on the January 2013 M Squad, just returned from an Adventures Disaster Relief trip to the areas in New York affected by Hurricane Sandy. Even though she didn’t want to go on this trip, she followed God’s call anyway and learned some big lessons from it. Erin shared her story with us on her blog and in an email, and we want to share it with you.
I am leaving for the World Race in January. I have a passion for serving others, so this relief trip would seem like something I would be super excited for. But it wasn’t. I actually didn’t want to go. I saw it online a couple of times and ignored it. I could feel God wanting me to go, but I kept saying no.
Finally, after a few hours of ignoring God pushing me to do this, I agreed. I applied, and that was that.
The day came to leave, and still not wanting to be doing this, I made the trek to New York. The first day I wasn’t really present. I was going through the motions thinking I was just going to fulfill what God had asked me to do and go home to my hectic pre-Race life. The second day, I started to enjoy myself a little more. I was getting to know more of the team, and we started to really connect. But I still didn’t see why God had called me on the trip.
But the third day changed everything.
We were in Far Rockaway, and our team broke up into small groups. My group decided to go door-to-door to people and ask what their physical needs were, as well as how we could pray for them. It was then that one family changed my heart.
We walked up to their house and asked if they needed anything. They rattled off a few necessities, and then sort of brushed us off. We asked them if we could pray for them. They were overjoyed and invited us into their house to do it right then. Each member of my group took turns praying for them. After the prayer I looked up and every single family member was crying.
An hour or so later, we came back to deliver the things they had just asked for. We brought all the stuff into their house and gave them each a hug. When I was giving one of the women a hug she started crying again, and barely managed to whisper in my ear, “You are a ray of hope.”
Then I started crying. I was reminded that God calls us to be a light to the world. It is why I was called to the World Race. The missions side of the Race had become unimportant, because the trivial things of everyday life had taken over. This trip allowed God to reignite a spark in me that had burned out.
I have the burning passion to help and love people that I had when I signed up for the Race. I needed this reminder of the impact my squad and I will have next year.
We are going to change the world.
Because in complete darkness even the smallest light shines brightly.