Serving the community shapes student’s life

rachel-moffett1Rachel Moffett ’09
Elementary Education major

Every Tuesday afternoon Rachel Moffett ’09 boards a bus to work with inner-city youth at the Allison Hill Community Center in Harrisburg.  After four years of helping with homework, cleaning, serving meals, and lending a shoulder to cry on, this elementary education alum bids farewell to the individuals that have helped shape her life, broaden her horizons, and strengthen her fortitude. 

On this particular Tuesday, Moffett is eager to talk to Norberto, one of her favorite students, to see how his recuperation is going.  His family, struggling to make ends meet while also overcoming a language barrier, had a difficult time acquiring proper medical care for Norberto’s Lyme’s Disease, which paralyzed the left side of his face.  

Moffett says the work has enriched her life in ways she never imagined.  “I have been encouraged, challenged, and stretched.  I have cried, laughed, played, cleaned, and eaten a lot of amazing sweet potato pie!  I have critically questioned injustice with the kids, families, and staff members,” she said.

Moffett extends her outreach effort well beyond Central Pennsylvania.  Traveling to Nicaragua as a team member of Messiah’s Agape Center, she spent two weeks serving with Food for the Hungry, handing out health kits, and working with residents.  “I remember standing in a two-room hut with a mother younger than myself and her infant daughter,” recalls Moffett.  “As she shared with me her difficulties as an abandoned wife and as a scared and worried parent, I wept with her.  My eyes were opened to injustice and poverty in a new way.  I knew I would be forever be changed by that experience.”

Moffett cites Messiah’s commitment to service and learning through hands-on opportunities as the instruments that led to her spiritual, emotional, and intellectual growth while in college and considers the “life changing and life defining experiences” as an integral part of her overall education.  “I am thankful for how much I have grown during the past four years and am continuing to grow as a person,” says Moffett. “I have realized that to serve and be a faithful follower of Christ, I don’t have to be perfect or even successful in others’ eyes.  Rather, I need to have an open mind and humble heart to grow and learn from others and challenge myself to do new things and get involved in ways that I never expected.”


Posted in 2009, About Service, Alumni, Education, Service and Learning, Study Abroad | Comments Off

Posted on October 6th, 2009

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