At ABCCM’s most recent General Assembly meeting, longtime volunteer Jody Halsted shared about how God led her into a lifestyle of service through volunteering.
Jody is currently in her first appointment as a pastor at two churches, Sardis United Methodist and Reeves Chapel United Methodist. Previously she worked as a registered nurse for 30 years. At that time, Jody wanted to volunteer, but she was living in a place where she felt isolated from her community and unable to find volunteer opportunities. However, after moving to Asheville, she quickly began volunteering at several nonprofit organizations throughout the area, including ABCCM’s Doctors’ Medical Clinic.
“I found a lot of ways I could do things for other people and meet the need within myself to volunteer,” said Jody. “I was ecstatic.”
Although she was enjoying her new volunteer opportunities, Jody still felt like something was missing from her life until she began volunteering at the Buncombe County Correctional Facility as a Bible Study leader through ABCCM’s Jail Ministry. Jody’s life began to change as she read Scripture, prayed, and worshiped with a group of female inmates each Thursday. She has now been volunteering at the correctional facility for ten years.
“I sit at the table with these women that I never would have met otherwise. Looking at their faces, I see the Divine. I know in that space, I am in the presence of the Holy Spirit,” said Jody. “In that space, in that room, I learn to teach, I learn to preach, I learn pray, I learn to sing. I learn how to accept from others, and I learn that it’s really not about what I’m doing for anybody. It’s really about what is being done for me and to me. And in that room, over the last ten years, I’ve been transformed.”
For the past six months, Jody has also been serving as the leader of a team of church volunteers who spend time with the children of Steadfast House every Monday night. She said that her group loves cuddling the babies, reading books to the toddlers, and generally enjoying the company of all the Steadfast House kids.
“Again, with those mothers and with those children, we see the Divine and we are changed,” said Jody. “It becomes less and less about what I can do for somebody else, and more and more about how the Holy Spirit is still molding me, still shaping me into this vessel that can be filled up and then poured out over and over again. And that’s what we’re all here for, right? Not just in this room, or in this county, but on this earth as part of God’s creation, so my life is changed. I’m so thankful for ABCCM.”
Jody’s enthusiasm was contagious as she shared with the attendees of General Assembly, and we hope you are inspired by her story as well. Click the links below to get involved in serving others through ABCCM’s ministries.