I went to Memphis, TN to serve at Service Over Self (SOS) with the Rock for the first time during spring break of my sophomore year. I didn’t have too much of an idea of what I was getting myself into, but I was excited to go. After hearing great things from people who had gone in the past, I was ready for a fun spring break full of service and meeting new people. However, Ididn’t get what I expected – I got more.
Going into the trip I thought that Memphis needed me, but the truth is I needed Memphis. Through a week of days spent serving the incredible people of those inner city neighborhoods and nights spent playing games and talking to those who were once strangers, I encountered God in a way I never expected. I learned what it was like to take the blessings the Lord has given to me and pass those onto others. I learned that even when life seems its absolute hardest, there is always hope in the Lord.
I returned to Columbia with 15 new friends and a reinvigorated love and fire for the gospel. Memphis exposed me to new places, perspectives and people and changed me for the better. By going to Memphis, you don’t just serve others, you serve yourself and most importantly, you serve God. As cliché as it sounds, I made memories and friendships that will last a long time and I will never forget my experiences in Memphis.
– Emma Rhyner, SOS participant in 2016