This week (April 19-25) marks National Volunteer Week 2020 in the U.S.1 All across our nation, tens of millions of people donate their time to help causes close to their hearts. Every April is an opportunity to thank those people for their efforts and recognize the contributions they have made.
Here at ICR, our volunteers hold a special place in our hearts. They have an immeasurable impact on our ministry, particularly in the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. Every day that we’ve opened our doors, starting with our very first day on September 2, 2019, the volunteer team has been ready and waiting to greet our guests and bless their experience.
ICR volunteers come from a huge variety of backgrounds. There are people of all ages and life situations—moms, dads, grandparents, single adults, students. There are people who are still heavily involved in the workforce, and people who are retired or still receiving their high school education. We have current and retired teachers, accountants, engineers, waitresses, scientists, students, doctors, retail workers, business owners, nurses, military members, and countless other professions.
We have introverts and extroverts, loud people and quiet people. We have people who have known the Lord for decades, and those who just came to Christ in the last few years. Some volunteers come from a scientific background and wield an arsenal of information, but many have no science background at all and want to learn.
What could all of these people, many from extremely different backgrounds, possibly have in common? Here are just three of the reasons that we are so beyond grateful for our entire volunteer team. Especially during National Volunteer Week, we want to recognize them publicly for some of the ways that they contribute to our ministry.
A Passion for God
Our volunteers consistently demonstrate a love for the Lord and a desire to serve Him with their lives. They want everyone to know how amazing God is, and they use their position in the Discovery Center to declare it. He is the most important part of their lives, and their volunteer work at ICR is just one outpouring of that. As a result of that love, they possess a servant’s heart that is nothing short of humbling for all of us who get to observe them. They serve anywhere from once a month to several times a week, manning various stations in the Discovery Center, interacting with guests, and helping keep operations going each day. They treat even the smallest task as important, because they realize they are actually doing it for our King.
A Passion for God’s Word
Each individual on ICR’s volunteer team believes that the Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant Word. They know that every word in Scripture is true, and that science, when properly observed, matches up with and verifies that truth. They know that since we can rely on what He says about beginnings in Genesis, we can also believe what He says about how to be saved through Christ and how to live for Him. They do not hesitate to share these truths in amazing ways with everyone who comes through our doors.
A Passion for People
One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in our volunteers is their genuine love for people. They see each person as an eternal soul made in the image of God. I’ve watched this demonstrated in countless ways and it never ceases to amaze me. They reach out in love to ICR employees, to their fellow volunteers, and to Discovery Center guests. Volunteers have shared the gospel with people who don’t know about our hope. They’ve helped find answers for those who were unsure. They’ve prayed with those who were hurting.
If you are an ICR volunteer, thank you so much for all you do. I’ve mentioned just a few examples, but there are countless ways that you contribute to our ministry. You are an enormous blessing and we cannot describe how thankful we are for you.
If you are not currently an ICR volunteer, but live in the Dallas area and are interested in applying, please feel free to visit ICR.org/volunteer for more information and to fill in an application. Or, if you have additional questions about our volunteer program, send an email to Volunteer@ICR.org. We would love to hear from you!
1. Trump, D. Proclamation on National Volunteer Week, 2020. The White House. Posted on whitehouse.gov April 17, 2020, accessed April 20, 2020.
*Lauren Pennington is Volunteer Coordinator at the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History.
National Volunteer Week 2020