Mitchell Lambert, Site Coordinator at Elmwood UMC
The mission of Project Transformation: to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support underserved children and families, and connect churches to communities in need. This simple line has framed the last three years of my life. Project Transformation has provided me with a place to mentor young kids who have shown me how to live a life of joy, churches that have taken me in as one of their own during my times in Dallas, and friends who have guided my decisions since I met them. I am currently serving at my fourth Project Transformation site location. I have served at Oak Cliff in 2013, Christ’s Foundry in 2014, Grace in 2015, and Elmwood during the 2015-16 academic year. There are two experiences throughout my terms of service that have shaped my perception of my work at Project Transformation.
The first story happened during my second term of service, but the impact was made in the previous summer. My first term of service was at Oak Cliff in the summer of 2013. I had some wonderful kids. My second summer of service was at Christ’s Foundry in the summer of 2014. During that summer, I was able to go to a Family Fun Night at Oak Cliff. I walked in to see one of my children from the previous summer wearing a LSU shirt, my alma mater. I sat down and immediately started telling him how much I loved his shirt and all he could do was sit there and laugh about how ridiculous I was being. His mom came and sat across the table from us and overheard me talking about his shirt. She began to tell me that he had a PT Corps Member the previous summer. The Corps Member was passionate about his school and showed her son so much love, compassion, and fun that he wanted to emulate that person’s passion for life. The Corps Member was always smiling and telling her son that he could change the world even if it was just one person at a time. She then told me that her son received the LSU shirt he was wearing as a Christmas present and that it quickly became one of his favorite shirts. Then, she closed by simply saying that she hoped her son would have PT Corps Members like that for the rest of his summers at Project Transformation.
The entire time, the mom was unaware that I was the person she was talking about. I could not believe that this family still remembered me much less thought of me so highly. Hearing this story straight from her allowed me to see that all of my work from the summer before had come to fruition. I had made a difference and unlike some of my peers, I was able to see that difference firsthand!
(Stay tuned for Mitchell’s second story next week!)