Each year, Project Transformation continues to be amazed at the work God does through the lives of our volunteers, young adults, and children. Summer 2019 has proven to be just as impactful–and just as fast! Our final highlighted chapter of the summer is Project Transformation Rio Texas! PT Rio Texas wrapped up the final days of their 5th summer with children and our core value, Servant Leadership, was evident throughout.
At Project Transformation, we practice Christ-inspired leadership which seeks to put the needs of others before self for the greater good. We believe in sharing power and investing in others so that they may fully live into their God-given gifts, passions, and talents. We believe in laboring with love, justice, compassion, humility, and accountability. We believe in practicing rest which promotes personal wholeness and renewal.
Madisyn William, a 2019 Project Transformation Rio Texas intern, understands the importance of servant leadership and caring for others.
Madisyn said, “To me, servant leadership means doing the job you weren’t asked to do. It means washing the dishes when you weren’t the one who dirtied them. It means setting up activities when you’re not the one leading them. It means putting caps back on markers so kids can use them the next day. All of these are small things, but they help those around us. If we want people to do their job well, they need an example to follow. If they need an example to follow, then we can be that example. Helping them achieve their goals through leading them is a key part of servant leadership. When we do the job we weren’t asked to do and serve others, people soon follow and do the same. Project Transformation has helped me understand servant leadership by giving me the opportunity to see it and practice it. I saw servant leadership among the staff and other interns, and that made me want to serve others as well. At the beginning of the summer, we all washed each other’s feet. This was a reminder that people will serve us, and we will serve others. It doesn’t work one way. I saw servant leadership happening, and Project Transformation gave me plenty of opportunities to practice it. I understood more of what servant leadership looked like with the kids and with other interns, which I think is a unique part of Project Transformation.”
Madisyn was asked about to practice servant leadership through her experience working with children and other interns. Madisyn said, “Through Project Transformation, I learned how to listen, follow, and demonstrate integrity. A good leader listens to their followers and their concerns. A good leader doesn’t refer to their followers as followers, but instead as friends. This is because a good leader gets to know people, and I felt like I got to do this with the kids by leading opening and closing circles but also by playing basketball and other games with them. Listening to their questions and concerns, no matter how irrelevant, made up a huge portion of being a leader. The same could be said with working with other interns! Everyone just wants to be heard. Integrity is a key part of leadership because while everyone may not see what you did or didn’t do, people will see its effects.”
When asked how Project Transformation helped her understand her calling, Madisyn said, “Project Transformation helped enforce a calling I had already heard- and that was to be with kids and to teach them. I realized how much I valued being with the same group of kids every day and how I want that in my post-grad life. I got to be the Bible Time leader this year, and that reminded me of how important the spiritual aspect is in holistic development. Project Transformation gave me the chance to combine two things I’m passionate about, children and the Bible. The experience of living out part of my calling gave me a deeper understanding of what it is God created me to do and who He has created me to be.”
We give thanks for the work God is doing in Madisyn’s life and in the lives of those she worked with this summer. We give thanks for Madisyn’s servant heart and willingness to practice servant leadership during her summer at Project Transformation Rio Texas. Madisyn will be a senior at Taylor University.