Learning to Surrender My Life to God

Photo of Cristo Castillo for his first reflection.

I joined FrancisCorps kinda unplanned and learning to truly trust my faith in God. I had recently found out I was potentially going to graduate earlier than expected and my plan was beginning to disintegrate right in front of my very eyes. Around that same time my campus ministry went to SEEK 2022 where I first encountered FrancisCorps. The booth stood out to me, so I stopped to ask a few questions. St. Francis has always been what I like to call my “Almost Patron Saint” and I felt really called to look more into what FrancisCorps was about. Not really sure how this would fit into my plan, but I knew God had placed something in my heart to keep questioning it, so throughout the rest of the time at SEEK I kept returning to the booth and kept asking questions. So that stayed in the back of my mind for a while and as something I wanted to do, but also not sure I could commit to or even fit into my plans.

Finally, my last year of college was finally here, and I had only shared the thought of serving a year in Syracuse to close friends and family. At this time the application was opened and I was beginning to question if this was something my plans for life could account for. Different fears and conditions kept me from wanting to apply, I felt it was too early to decide what I would do for the next year. Something in me was also not ready to say good-bye to the place I called home, but a friend kept challenging me to apply. She said that I wasn’t guaranteed a spot, but once I applied and knew where I stood I could better discern if FrancisCorps was where God was calling me. So, a bit hesitant I turned in the application, half scared to be accepted and also scared of being rejected. After I was accepted, I spent a few weeks praying whether this was a move that God was asking me to accept or not. And after much prayer (and honestly a lot of hesitation) I heard a bold “Yes’ from God, I hesitantly accepted to join FrancisCorps not sure where God wanted me to go. 

It has only been like a month, but the more time I have spent here the more I begin to understand God’s reasoning for sending me out to Syracuse. I’m volunteering at CYO Refugee Resettlement in the Employment Office and helping the community of refugees has been rewarding in so many ways. I’ve only provided small help with the refugees, but seeing the happiness with them in something as simple as receiving their temporary IDs from the DMV is a feeling you can’t put words to. The other aspect that I’ve loved is growing in community with the other FrancisCorps volunteers. Being able to have intentional conversations and grow in fellowship with them has been so rewarding.   

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