The Odyssey

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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

We all have a purpose


As a Pastor’s Daughter, I am at every church event. For a long time I didn’t like helping with the Harvest Party at church, but I had to be there. I wanted to spend my Halloween roaming around and trick or treating like everyone else was. When I became a teenager, I wanted to spend Halloween with my friends watching movies. But as I have gotten older, I realized that I want to help at the Harvest Party. I want to see the kids’ faces light up. I want to give. I want to paint kids’ faces because it makes them happy. I want the kids to know they are loved, protected, and seen. I no longer wanted to help because I had to. I found my purpose, which is to be a light to kids, and if that means being emotionally available I will be. 

Being involved in the community I have noticed that in Potosi, there are several kids that can’t depend on their parents. They may have a place to sleep and a home to go home to, but some of the emotional needs are unmet. Emotionally unavailable parents tend to raise children who cling hard to their loved ones, and they seem desperate to be seen and acknowledged. No one wants to feel abandoned and I personally think that, that is how some of these kids feel. I feel like they just want to feel loved and protected, and I want to be the someone that they remember that made them feel loved and protected.

Each Halloween night, I help host an event at my church, Potosi First Assembly of God, called the Harvest Party. 

We provide a warm and safe place for the kids in town to come spend their evening, playing games, getting their face painted, collecting small toys and candy, and eating hot dogs. 

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It takes several volunteers to make this event happen. In advance, my parents (the pastors) put a sign up sheet out at church so that volunteers can sign up for what position they want to work at the event. Our amazing volunteers were doing everything, from being security at the door, to making hot dogs, to running games. The volunteers from the church also worked several hours to set up and tear down for this event, and I am very thankful to each and every one of them. 

We were all volunteering for the same reason. We weren’t helping for praise or a paycheck, we did it to see the big smiles on the kids’ faces, and to provide a place for them to feel loved, protected, seen, and cared for. Not only by us, but by Jesus too, on Halloween night.

Several teenagers go home after school and spend their evenings watching TikTok for hours, playing video games, and laying in bed to sleep. They waste their time doing things that don’t benefit anyone. That’s just because they haven’t found their purpose in life yet. 

This could also be the reason depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and actions are likely in teens today. They haven’t found their purpose in life yet, and they search for it in all the wrong places, which leads them to a dead end.

Not everyone is as lucky as me to be a pastor’s daughter, or to have good role models as parents that have been available in every way possible. They have walked side by side with me and have helped me find my purpose. 

Not everyone is like me, and gets the opportunity to pour into foster kids’ lives. My aunt and grandma have provided a home for foster kids since before I was born. I have been around so many kids who hurt because their parents weren’t there for them like they should be or chose things over them. Some foster kids’ physical needs were unmet, but most of the time it was their emotional needs that were unmet. They longed to feel loved, and my family was that for them.

The last couple of years I have gotten very involved in helping with the Harvest Party just because I want to now. I now help run it and make it happen. I am just a small part of making it happen though. 

First Assembly of God Church members and veterans children church pastors, Mike and Roxanne Crippen are the founders of the event. They continue to make the event happen each year. Without them the event would not happen, they house all of the games and bounce houses each year. They work thoroughly with my parents to make sure everything is worked out and taken care of. Just a couple things that they do are, make sure we have enough candy to hand out, and make sure there are enough prizes to give away. 

I am so grateful that they share the same purpose that I do. 

The Harvest Party is just a tiny speck of fulfilling my purpose. I can close my eyes and see the kids’ smiles in my head from Halloween night. Whether it’s a stranger on the street, someone who walks through my church doors, or a foster kid being welcomed into my family. I try to be a light to kids every single day. I am so glad I get to continue to make kids feel loved, seen, and protected, and to let them know that God will never abandon them. I found my purpose, and you can too.

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About the Contributor
Lillian Greenlee
Lillian Greenlee, Reporter
Hey y'all! My name is Lillian Greenlee, and I am a senior at PHS. I am the NHS secretary/treasurer, a Concert Choir leader, Bible Club member, FCA member, a College Ambassador, a Student Ambassador, Foreign Language Club member, and a 4-H member. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family.  

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