Oct 1, 2022

Service with a smile

Not even high winds and floodwaters can stop Tom and Julie Mills from volunteering with LifeWorks. Even as they storm-prepped ahead of Hurricane Ian, Tom and Julie accepted an extra assignment to keep LifeWorks participants on track for graduation in November.

We canceled LifeWorks’ Sept. 26 and 28 evening classes because of the storm, but we neither wanted participants to miss scheduled content on résumé preparation nor to need an extra week for a make-up class. We decided to resume classes this week and squeeze in a virtual Wednesday-night session on résumés. When asked whether they would lead this last-minute class in addition to their already-scheduled sessions as LifeWorks instructors, Tom and Julie didn’t hesitate to say yes.

“JP has been our area of ministry for more than 10 years, and we’ll do it for 10 more if they’ll let us,” Julie says.

Since they have served faithfully in nearly every LifeWorks volunteer role, we’ll certainly “let” Tom and Julie continue to serve. Coaching was their first area of service, shepherding a small group each semester through the 36-hour LifeWorks course. Julie participated in a curriculum committee and wrote the LifeWorks lesson on conflict resolution. They served side by side for several years as a team leader and head coach, overseeing the implementation of LifeWorks at individual training sites. Currently, they serve as instructors, presenting LifeWorks material several times each semester.

“When I tell people why I do what I do, I tell them about the concept of ‘thin places,'” Tom says. “When you think about the veil between heaven and earth, there are places where you can feel God’s movement. That’s a thin place, and JP is one of them. In just 12 weeks, you can see God do amazing things in the lives of so many people. Having experienced that first-hand, it’s hard not to keep doing it.”

Julie agrees, adding, “People say, ‘Somebody should do something.’ I say, ‘I’m somebody. I can do something.’ You don’t need any special skills to be a constant in someone’s life for the 12 weeks of LifeWorks.”

You can find out more about volunteer opportunities here.

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