Volunteer Coaching Program

God Works Behind the 'Seen'

By: Jennifer Marshall, Advocate (Calif.)

I used to think God wasn't doing much in my life; now I know that God uses the unexpected to fulfill His purposes. You see, I was working at a company I had no passion for, because I didn't know what I was passionate about. I'd needed a job and taken what was offered to me. But God was working behind the "seen."

The company celebrated its 60th anniversary and asked its employees to give a total of 60,000 hours of service back to the community. My team of six committed to 300 of those hours. During that year of serving various non-profits, I received a flyer for a Christian concert. The flyer had a Compassion logo and asked for people to volunteer at a Compassion booth at the concert. To fulfill part of those 300 hours, I eagerly sign up and met Brad Schultz at the booth. He asked if I would consider becoming a Compassion Advocate. I told Brad to send me the materials to read through and then I'd make a decision.

In the packet of materials was the book Too Small To Ignore by Wess Stafford. My heart was changed after reading that book. I knew then that the rest of my life would be consumed with educating myself and others about extreme poverty and the many injustices that oppress children around the world. My time and resources would go toward releasing children from that oppression. That was in 2008, and the floodgates have been opening ever since:

  • I was laid off.
  • I was introduced to Advocate coaching by Ian Durias.
  • I went back to school to get my coaching credential.
  • I became an Advocate coach with Compassion.
  • I started teaching a Sunday school class of 5-year-olds.
  • I asked to coach inner-city, at-risk youth in San Francisco by a college friend who had started a youth-run supper club [called Old Skool Cafe] for young people in foster care or who had been previously incarcerated. Note that I had no previous experience working with this population. Talk about an opportunity for God's power to be made perfect in my weakness!
  • I started a justice ministry at my church to educate and engage the Body of Christ with God's mandate to free the oppressed.
  • I'm praying about potentially serving and caring for orphaned children in Uganda.

On a day-to-day basis, I can easily forget how God is moving in my life. But writing all of this out reminds me of what a ride I've been on with my Lord. What an honor to be loved, changed, used and guided in such unexpected ways. How fun to look back and see what He has done instead of being scared and stressed about the unknown future! I'm learning that I can rest in confidence, know what God has already done in my life and the lives of all His people in His word.

I used to think that I had to know exactly what God wants me to do in order to make decisions about my future. Now I know that in Him I have the freedom to make decisions, knowing that I will be able to look back and see how He used it to fulfill His purpose in my life.

Jennifer Marshall become an advocate after volunteering to help staff a Compassion booth at a Christian concert.


Email Ian Durias or call him at (866) 649-0923.