News Release

It is usually through another person that our prayers are answered

A 'Just Serve' experience by Jane Elvidge

It’s been nearly forty years since Spencer W Kimball said, “The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls.  We become more significant individuals as we serve others.  We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to ‘find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!”  The world in which we live in today has an ever-increasing need for individuals who are willing to help others, perhaps even more since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

During family challenges over the past couple of years, I have found that service in the Church and more recently in the community has been a great source of strength to me; it has really helped me to forget my problems, at least for a while.  I had wanted to be more involved in volunteering in my local area for quite a few years but had not got around to doing anything about it until I heard about JustServe – a fantastic way to volunteer in the community.

For the past few years my son, Ed, has been suffering from a serious illness; my husband and I have been caring for him at home.  Although my husband has been able to continue working on a part-time basis, I have been at home full time.  During this time, our interaction with the outside world – including our family – has been limited. 

We received a new calling in August 2018, and part of our responsibilities includes introducing JustServe to the London Mission area.  Most of our work has been done using email, phone and various social media platforms but, more recently, now that JustServe is up and running in the London area, we have been able to download the JustServe App and get involved in some volunteering activities. 

JustServe-New Years Day 2020
JustServe - New Years Day 2020© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

One of these was on New Year’s Day, helping to clear up after the previous evening’s festivities.  Ed and I caught the train to London and spent the morning with a group of about forty volunteers, including members of other faiths.  While picking litter, I enjoyed finding out about the Lutheran faith and sharing a few of my own beliefs with a family picking up litter with us. 

More recently, I’ve volunteered with a charity that helps distribute clothes and supplies to refugees across the world.  The charity sources clothing from British industry and communities, sending it to charities located in many countries, including Syria, Ukraine and Serbia.  On this occasion, I spent a morning working alongside the full-time missionaries from our ward and members of different faiths, including Jewish and Christian, from the local community.  We sorted clothes and shoes that had been donated by the local community, packing everything into boxes for sending abroad.

Last week, following the example of a good friend, Ed and I put a letter through nearly 30 of my neighbours’ doors asking if anyone needs help shopping or collecting medicine, while they stay at home.  We live on a busy road and we only really know our nearest neighbours, although we’ve lived here for over 25 years.  I’ve been overwhelmed with lovely messages, including one from a couple who have lived in their neighbourhood home since 1958.  Their message was, “As we are in our nineties, we are not able to offer much physical help, but we are committed Christians, we pray regularly and would be more than willing to add any names to our prayer list.”  I was able to let them know that we are also Christian and would be very grateful for their prayers.  Fortunately, nearly everyone has friends or family nearby, but I have been able to do some shopping for one elderly couple and we have organised a WhatsApp ‘group’ to communicate with one another.  We are currently using the ‘group’ to support our local foodbank, and plan to get together for ‘drinks on the green’ when it’s all over.

I’m really grateful for the opportunities JustServe has given me to be more involved in my local community and to be blessed personally with added strength and courage during my personal challenges. Serving others helps the people and organisations we serve. But it also helps us as individuals – while we are serving, we are not thinking about our own problems.  One of my very favourite quotes is “God does notice us, and he watches over us.  But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs”.  So, if we want Heavenly Father to answer our prayers, perhaps we should make sure we’re helping Him to answer other people’s prayers, by serving them.

 is a website where the volunteer needs of organizations may be posted and volunteers may search for places to serve in the community, providing opportunities to help those in need and enhance the quality of life in the community.

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