Live for Christ

Jolyn was baptized at Zion by Pastor Blair when she was 13 days old, and has been a lifelong member of the congregation. She returned to Buffalo in 2002 to join the Buffalo Clinic (now Stellis Health) as a chiropractor.

It has been fun to watch the congregation grow and change. Zion is comfortable, inclusive and is continually looking for ways to serve people both inside and outside the walls of the building.

A desire to live a Christ-like life is at the center of Jolyn’s faith.

As It says in 2 Corinthians 5:15, we are to live for Christ, not for ourselves. I have been given many gifts and I feel it is my call to share these gifts. I am fortunate to be able to volunteer my time through many different avenues including the Rotary Club of Buffalo and the Buffalo Community Orchestra.

Zion’s mission to serve those in need reaches so many different areas from right in our own congregation and community to half way across the word in Zambia. As humans and more specifically as Christians, we all have different gifts from God and it is vital that as members of Zion we take the opportunity to share these gifts.

When Jolyn’s niece and nephews were young, she spent many years teaching Sunday school. She has also been involved in Music Ministry for many years, playing French horn with the choir, handbells, and a variety of ensembles and special music.

One of her favorite pieces of church music is the benediction “Go Now in Peace” which is used periodically by the Senior Choir to close the 8:30 worship service.

Go now in peace. Never be afraid. God will go with you each hour of every day. Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true. Know He will guide you in all you do. Go now in love, and show you believe. Reach out to others so all the world can see. God will be there watching from above. Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

With encouragement from Dr. Andy Burgdorf and her brother, Dr. Jason Halvorson, Jolyn decided to join the 2017 Mission Jamaica Team.

One of the most challenging parts of my faith journey is remembering to remain curious, to continue to learn more about Christianity and all that it entails. It is so easy to go about our daily lives and not remembering or focusing on the part that faith plays in it. I was curious about what impact I could have in a region of the world that had such a different healthcare system than we have here, and one that was likely to have little if any knowledge of my role as a chiropractor. I knew that although this would be challenging, my ability to help the Mission Jamaica medical team was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

We live in a country where the majority of us live a life of abundance, at least materialistically speaking. We have access to healthcare, food and clean water without giving it much thought. Mission Jamaica is a vehicle in which the group is able to work together to build a house, provide medical attention and medications to help make life just a little bit easier. Mission Jamaica provides an opportunity for personal growth, to see Faith in Action and to do as Jesus said, to love your neighbors as yourself.

While views of the beautiful Caribbean Sea and 80+ degree temps in late February are certainly a highlight of mission Jamaica, my favorite part of the trip was the opportunity to connect with the Jamaican people as well as many individuals of the medical team. The clinic days were long, hot and stressful at times, but the support everyone gave each other provided the opportunity to help and serve a tremendous amount of people. In addition, the amount of gratitude given by the Jamaican people that we had the opportunity to serve was tremendous. While it was difficult at times to see the inequity of our two worlds, even though our impact was small, the Mission Jamaica team made a difference.

Jolyn found that flexibility was the key to a successful mission trip.

Mission Jamaica is very well organized and Jeff and Paige do everything they can to make things go smoothly. Despite this, as a member of the Mission Jamaica team you learn to expect the unexpected and roll with it. While schedules don’t always go as planned and the days are long, the gratitude shared by the Jamaican people as well as the MJ team is remarkable. One other important thing to know is that you don’t necessarily need to have specific medical training or construction skills. Everyone has something they can contribute and everyone can be trained!

Jolyn’s hope for Zion’s future is that we continue to look to grow in faith and serve the church community, the community of Buffalo and the world.