By Beruchya Dao-Bai, FC 19 Syracuse
At Emergency Services, my coworkers and I navigate our way through pressing situations that people in Onondaga County face. Emergencies range from families being evicted from their homes, to power being shut off at people’s homes due to outstanding electricity bills.
At a place where you are trained to expect the unexpected, improvising becomes second nature and patience becomes a constant and active practice. Some individuals frustrated by what they have to deal with, lose their patience, and challenge us to serve them despite that. Others have struck me with their joy in the midst of situations that to me, seemed unbearable. Their striking hope and faith in God inspired my own faith and hope in God. Other individuals, unfortunately, seem to suffer from one ill after the other, going from a severe illness to the loss of a job, to an eviction due to accrued rental arrears as a result of their job loss. Sometimes, even though I would like to go above and beyond for the people we serve, I learned to prioritize emergencies and humbly recognize my limitations. This realization made me more attuned to the fact that I can do my best in some things but cannot do everything. After all, I am only a worker, and God is the master of all things.
Like one of my coworkers likes to say, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This quote by Reinhold Niebuhr sums up the attitude that my experience has been forging in me so far.
Undeniably, my work site can be quite challenging at times. Every day I am encouraged to grow by dealing with situations I had never encountered before. However, I am grateful to God for leading my steps there and for the opportunity to work with an awesome team of colleagues that make work enjoyable. Thankfully, after each day, stressful or not; the warm dinners, restorative prayer time and a good laugh with my FrancisCorps community make my experience in Syracuse worthwhile.