Board Member, Hope United Methodist Church, San Diego, CA
I strongly believe in the SSP mission, and that we are called to serve others and support all people, no exceptions.
I recently retired from an engineering career, and I want to give back to a society that has been so generous to me. I have also always loved working with youth, including my four kids. SSP blends my passions, allowing me to work on construction projects, support underrepresented communities, and tackle social injustice.
“We are called to serve others and support all people, no exceptions.”
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is from the Gospel of Luke: “From those that are given much, much will be expected.” I have been blessed in many ways. Now, I want to give back to help those in need and assist in the growth and maturity of others.
I have always felt called to work with youth, and have been deeply involved with our SSP trips as a counselor over the last 15 years. This started first with my own kids attending, and now I get the privilege of working with our church youth. I say privilege, because our youth are truly amazing.
Through their participation in SSP, youth grow in their Christian faith, learn to selflessly help the marginalized, gain confidence by building with their own hands, and learn to be accepting of everyone. I’m so proud our church congregation supports them and our SSP mission trip.
“Through their participation in SSP, youth grow in their Christian faith, learn to selflessly help the marginalized, gain confidence by building with their own hands, and learn to be accepting of everyone.”
I love that SSP works in rural sites, because I feel closer to God surrounded by mountains, forests, oceans, and deserts. Feeling God working through me in the forests and oceans in Smith River, the rivers and forests in Chiloquin, and Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Nation is amazing. I also love working in urban environments, because I see firsthand the need of those living in poverty and the marginalized among us. From Skid Row in Los Angeles, to the poverty in Stockton, to the border issues in San Diego, I believe we are making a small but important dent in combating social injustice.
“We are making a small but important dent in combating social injustice.”
My favorite projects are constructing wheelchair ramps because you can directly see the need you are filling. One of my most memorable ramps was for an older lady in South Central Los Angeles. She had recently become wheelchair-bound and was not able to easily get out of her house. She prayed to the Lord for help. When we finished her ramp, she told every one of us we were truly angels sent by God. Seeing the comprehension on the faces of the youth was as gratifying as hearing the words.
Editor’s Note: Rob is one of our new Board members in 2019, and has participated in SSP as an adult counselor for many years with Hope United Methodist Church from San Diego, CA. See for yourself why Rob has continued serving with SSP year after year, by volunteering with us next summer!