Go, Serve, and Transform with Discovery
By Terry Adams, Director of Outreach and Discovery
Thousands of students, parents and leaders, and tens of thousands of others around the world have been impacted by the work of the Holy Spirit through Discovery since the first experience in India in 2008. Still, there is not always clarity about what exactly Discovery is. This program is much more than Valor’s service pillar. The Discovery program strives to humbly serve and transform others, and exists to offer students the opportunity to grow, learn, experience, serve and be transformed. We go as ambassadors of Christ, following His example and obeying His call to compassionately love and serve others, especially the poor and marginalized. Ultimately, Discovery seeks to bring glory to God.
God created us to be in communion with Him and to be His hands and feet to the lost and the brokenhearted. Many followers of Christ are familiar with the biblical passage from Ephesians 2:8-9 which says that we are saved by grace, through faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ and that salvation cannot be earned by works.
Few recall that verse 10 says we are created to do good works. The works we do come as an outflow of our love for God and being made in His image. It is not the work that we do for God that will truly make a difference, it is the work He does through His children, those who are a new creation in Christ. As a result, the transforming power of the gospel lived out in our lives and the lives of those we serve will do more to combat poverty and brokenness in the long run than any other gift or act of service.
Discovery is a natural outflow of the classroom, the athletic field and the arts. This brings to life what our students were created to do. Seeking to love others selflessly applies not only to people in another culture but to the people on our team, in our families, within our local community and across the world.
When we obey His call, Christ lives in us and works through us until we become selfless agents of love, light and life. Many ask why God does not do more to end suffering and to help those who are hurting. The real question is why we are not doing more to be His agents of love, compassion and transformation in the world.
When students answer the call to Go, Serve, Transform, many among us and among those we serve come to faith in Jesus Christ or experience a deepened faith and will never be the same. Service and learning within another culture prepares students in ways they may not otherwise experience. They will benefit from gains in leadership, an increased confidence with humility, a new love for those not like us, an understanding of our own brokenness, a strengthened faith and a crumbling of the walls of narrow-minded prejudice.
Through Discovery, many students change the trajectory of their life vocationally, spiritually, relationally and emotionally, more holistically becoming who God created them to be. It is Valor’s vision that students’ lives will be transformed and that they become His transforming agents to the world.