The Workday

What is a workday you might ask?

Workday (n.): An opportunity for a student to raise money in order to attend a conference or retreat. You support us and as a token of appreciation we help out around your house.

I’ve been attending IV at SJSU for the past two years, this one being my third. Workdays have always been a large contributing factor to my ability to go on retreats or conferences. I can clearly remember my first work day like it was yesterday. There were three of us: a guy, a girl, and myself. I was a freshman and barely knew the other two. Next thing you know I am off in the back seat of an old van heading to do yard work for some stranger.

We arrive to a modest looking house in the middle of who knows where. The lady, we’ll call her Mrs. April, introduces us to her kids and husband then directs us to the backyard. Let me tell you, the next 6 hours of my life were some of the hardest I’ve ever worked. Endless piles and piles of leaves, branches, and vines were everywhere. Mrs. April tells us there’s about 3-4 years worth of leaves on the ground. Oh and the land over the fence used to be a government testing zone for pesticides and other chemicals. Not to mention, the weather was still very much a baking hot September day in California.

What stuck out to me that day wasn’t the filling of bags over and over again. Or the much needed deli sandwich and cool beverage during our lunch break. Or even the conversations and storytelling with two new friends. What stuck out most that day was the love the family had displayed to me. They weren’t the wealthiest family on the block so to speak. No sports car or pool. Just an ordinary family that trusted in a God that provides; whether in a group of kids coming to do some gardening, or in the ability to put food on the table.

Only someone crazy would do that kind of work again right? So I went back on two more occasions to help them out. I think that’s a large part of what workdays are about. Giving people a hand up as opposed to a hand out. Go and do the same friends, worship well.