Waking up one morning in her dorm room at Clemson University, Rachel D’Hoore told her roommate, “It’s going to happen, mark this day down!” Overnight, she had a dream about young adults feeding hungry people, hugging, and smiling. Her dedication to making that dream a reality would soon impact hundreds of people.
The dream confirmed the decision she had made the day before to drop a nursing major, a career she had defined as her purpose for 12 years. “I actually cried myself to sleep that night,” Rachel said, “because I felt somewhat empty, lost, and confused on what the next chapter looked like. I had put so much value into what I was going to become, instead of who God was making me to be.”
The dream gave her a new passion. She began casually telling a few people, and within two weeks she had recruited 14 people.
“When you go beyond your mile, it’s amazing the distances God can take you.” – Rachel D’Hoore
One of the first outreach events Rachel arranged was at a girls’ foster home in Greenville, SC. This particular home is considered Level 4 Foster Care, meaning these girls have been in the system for a long time, and have experienced painful situations. Untrusting, “They [the teenage girls] were not happy we came to visit,” Rachel said. They called us names and made time together difficult. “I’m not going anywhere,” Rachel told them. She and four others returned regularly, gradually forming relationships that increased the girls’ trust in them. The same girls who tried to push them away, started to ask for Rachel and her friends to return; an uncommon request of visitors, and they even served at a soup kitchen together. This was a huge victory and spurred the dream in Rachel’s heart even more!
Juggling school, jobs, and a social life can create little margin for college students. But, they made it a priority because they saw the value it was bringing to not only themselves, but also to the community. Word spread about the great things happening within the small serve team. Over the next six months, Rachel planned several projects to accommodate the 300 college students who wanted to serve the community. “I would get people knocking on my door to see if I had anything for them to do that day,” she said.
Resources to fund serve projects came at just the right time, rain held off for an outdoor kid’s event, and then began pouring as soon as the clean-up was finished, and a homeless shelter that didn’t have a food donation to feed their guests that night was provided with leftover meals from that outdoor event. “When you go beyond your mile, it’s amazing the distances God can take you,” Rachel said.
Rachel is now the Lower Elementary Coordinator at Seacoast’s Mount Pleasant Campus—a job she earned, obedient to the dream God has given her. Her experience also led her to recently plan a Seacoast College/20s Serve Day, where sixty-two people volunteered at four organizations: Water Mission, the North Charleston Dream Center, Fresh Future Farms, and Hope To Home. Young adults helped with anything from landscaping and moving furniture, to helping individuals with home projects. A woman in West Ashley desperately needed a wheelchair ramp built at her home. The team didn’t leave until the job was done.
Rachel accepted the incredible opportunity to say yes to the calling God placed on her heart. “I have been forever changed. When I started serving others is when I really found myself.”
- Choose a serve opportunity with your small group that you can do together. Local Missions opportunities can be found by visiting seacoast.org/missions.
- Attend Inside Track to find out where you can use your gifts to serve.
- The College/20s Ministry offers a weekly Sunday night service at the Mount Pleasant Campus. Consider attending to build relationships and learn more about serve opportunities.