Mindy Marinko serves with Service Adventure in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Photo provided.

By Mindy Marinko
Thursday, March 22, 2018

I remember hearing about Service Adventure all throughout high school in chapels at Dock Mennonite Academy, and presentations from past participants at my church. I thought it was a cool idea, but for the longest time, I thought I had to go straight to college after high school or I would be considered a failure. As I progressed through the years, my plans kept changing over and over again until eventually, I came to the conclusion that I did not want to go to a conventional college or university at all.

Halfway through my senior year, I started looking into Service Adventure more seriously. Armelda Xhari was in the Albuquerque unit and I knew her from the past year when my family hosted her while she was going to Dock. In February I had applied for Service Adventure and I decided to do a preview weekend in Albuquerque. I enjoyed my preview weekend, but I felt that the unit and the placements would not be a good fit for me so I wrote off Service Adventure as a whole. For the rest of the year, I thought I would be going to cosmetology school after I graduated. Fortunately for me though, God always changes your plans when you are least expecting.

My plans got flipped upside down at the beginning of July when I was at Mennonite Youth Convention in Orlando, FL. I was a part of the Future Church Summit. During one of the sessions I must admit I was zoning out, but while I was not paying attention I heard a voice that could only have been God's. He told me that I would not be going to cosmetology school like I had planned, but that I would be going into ministry. When I got home, I applied for Service Adventure a second time. The only difference was I applied this time with a preference for Colorado Springs. I knew God had his hand in everything related to Service Adventure because I applied in the middle of July and by August 11th, I was headed for Colorado Springs to meet the five other people that would be my family until June. I am so glad that God called me to change my plans and that I decided to follow through. This journey has not been without its challenges, but God's plan is greater than mine.





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