‘Hands On’ God’s power


Katie Betts

This summer, I received the unique opportunity to travel to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and to serve as a Hands On missions team leader. Going in, I felt excited to serve and to love Christ’s people in ways and in places that were unfamiliar to me.

I knew that I had a passion and a heart for people, but I had never put myself in a program quite like Hands On, in which those passions and desires to serve were stretched and given so much freedom.

In St. Thomas, offering people our time, our love, and our encouragement was a big deal to them. So I had the chance to love people endlessly and to help them understand how valuable they are in the Lord’s eyes. Those encounters were an enormous blessing to me and they strengthened my love of people and serving even more.

“I had never put myself in a program quite like Hands On.”
My team and I were also able to experience familiar types of Salvation Army ministry in new and refreshing ways. We helped the local corps officers work within the corps and in the community to make Christ known on the island. We assisted with various outreach events and helped to develop and run a Vacation Bible School program for the children of the St. Thomas Corps.

We had all participated in these forms of ministry at our home corps back in the United States, but it was incredible how much of a difference and effect the culture of the island had on our ministry experience.

For example, it was a daily blessing to me to see the simple contentment and joy of the children that we worked with every day. They did not need much in the way of entertainment because they were satisfied with and excited about anything that we did with them. They simply appreciated our love and attention. Not much else was needed, and that was a new experience for my entire team when it came to working with children.

I learned so much from my experience and the people there. The Lord definitely blessed my team’s time in St. Thomas, as well as with each of us. He was faithful this summer and worked through us in amazing ways that were beyond our anticipation.

My willingness to depend on the Lord completely, and to follow His leading daily, grew this summer. Rather than be a vacation or an easy experience, Hands On definitely made me so thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness to provide for and empower me when I doubted my abilities or effectiveness.

My team and I came to better understand our Father’s power and how our ministry could be incredibly effective if we allow His greatness and love to flow out of our hearts and our hands.

by Katie Betts

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