Blogs @ Emporia State University

Day 3 - Church Service Project

May 23, 2013

Tags: global leadership

By Bethany Letellier and Tess Hobson

This is our third day in Prague, and we finally got to work on our first service project.  We arrived at the St. Thomas Monetary and were a little apprehensive about what we would be doing.  While we were waiting for instruction we looked around the church for a little while, the architecture was absolutely breath taking; although the church was beautiful we did not yet know the importance or significance of it yet.  When we meet father Juan, he was so knowledgeable about the history of this church.  He explained that it was built in the 13th century, and is part of the St. Augustine order who's mission and focus is intellect.  Father Juan then explained to us what our service project would be, he explained that the church has two libraries and that we would be moving the books from one to the other, none of us realized the significance of our work nor how difficult it would be.

The group made their way up to the first library where we met the librarian Veronica.  On our way up to the library we discovered that there were spiral stair cases leading up to each of them (32 steps and 27 steps).  We were not expecting the sheer volume or appearance of the books.  Veronica told us the about the importance of the books in this church.  Some of these books dated back to 15th century and the oldest book that is housed there was written in 1414.  This book was amazing, it was hand written and the first letter of each paragraph was colored.  After our history lesson, it was time to get down and dirty.

We split up and began a system to complete our task. Two people were on either side in each of the libraries, and the other 8 carried books up and down, and up and down, and up and down the spiral stair cases.  Although this was very tedious work, the gratefulness of Father Juan and Veronica made it all worthwhile. 

This was the first service project we have done on this trip, we all learned a great deal about our group dynamics and how we all work together as a team.  Father Juan was a very inspiring person, he is a true example of a servant leader.  For the day, we mirrored his example and served as servant leaders.  If more leaders in this world lead with this mentality, we would all have stronger global relationships.

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