Accidental Joy

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By Caroline Friedmann, FC 21

My FrancisCorps journey started by accident. Nine months ago, I was in Indianapolis attending a FOCUS conference, called SEEK, and was scouring the booths for free stickers. Our Associate Director, Johanna, was at the FrancisCorps booth and very supportive of my mission of obtaining stickers! She and I had a five minute conversation where she told me a small amount of information about the program she was representing. At that time of my life, I was planning on looking for research assistant jobs to take a break in between undergraduate and graduate school and paid her no mind.

However, God had other plans for me. The following month, our brief conversation replayed in my head, but I had forgotten the name of the organization. I stumbled upon the sticker Johanna had given me, immediately researched FrancisCorps, and applied that day. Up until this point, a year of service was not something I had even considered. Yet, a peace came after applying and later receiving an acceptance; the same peace that comes from trusting in God to lead one down an unknown path.

I have been settled in Syracuse, New York for a little over two months now. Incredible joy and absurd peace has been in every moment, every place, and every breath taken in these past twelve weeks. I am working at Northside CYO Refugee Resettlement. Already, I have learned more about other cultures, languages, and people than I expected. These next 11 months are sure to bring triumphs and failures, joys and sorrows, and I am looking forward to growing with my community, learning how to better love and serve alongside them.