A phones rings, and a whispering prayer is heard in the background. The guest services office is filled with compassionate faces, every frown testifying to a listening and caring attitude. Every day calls come in from people all over the States, and even the world. They wonder: Can Wildwood Lifestyle Center help me with my illness? I volunteered in this department for almost six months during the Missionary Volunteer program.
When you stand in the office for the first time, it can be quite overwhelming, but as you take time to settle down and listen, you will understand the impact this ministry has on people. Talking on the phone to all these sick people, you’ll come to ask yourself the question at some point: “Am I truly grateful for what I have?” You will find yourself pensive, drawn to Jesus in thanksgiving, knowing that His love has been given to you, not just to keep for yourself, but to give way.
The Lifestyle Center has been a blessing to the sick and needy for over 75 years. It is at the Guest Services department where we guide the potential guests through the application process to partake in one of the programs. They often see Wildwood as their last resort. Guests who contact us struggle with illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and even cancer.
I never know what to expect when the phone rings. It might just be someone who needs answers to some general questions, but it might also be a parent whose son is struggling with alcoholism. Or maybe someone who is dying from cancer, and this hoping to hear that we can help him. Every morning I have to make sure that I commit myself to Christ fully, or I won’t be able to provide the emotional and spiritual support these people need.
My first couple of weeks at Guest Services were hard. I would return to the dorm depleted and so tired. But it was all worth it when I spoke to the guests in person and they mentioned that the prayers and time spent on the phone had touched them deep in their hearts. Then I would know that my effort that I put into it, even though it drained me by the end of the day, was entirely worth it. Truly Christ was working through me. It was Christ that guided them and brought them to Wildwood. It is in this challenging department that I learned to work with a grateful heart.