Volunteer Selection Programme

In April – May 2019, I participated in a programme in God’s Way Ltd, with the purpose of finding volunteers for Divine Truth and God’s Way. It was a trial and test period of 5 weeks in Wilkesdale, Australia.

In September, 4 months after I returned home, I wrote about my experience.


Introduction
Safety and Documentation
Love, care and consideration
The working weeks
The off weeks
Feedback and Exclusion
Volunteer Selection and Feedback
Personal reflections

Introduction

8th of April 2019 I was sitting together with 28 other persons in Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins living room, which now was full of chairs in rows, video cameras and a whiteboard. It was the first day of a five-week Volunteer Selection Programme (VSP). The VSP facilitators, Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins, director of God’s Way Ltd, and Tristan Miller, succession member of God’s Way Ltd, were welcoming us and informing us about the structure of the VSP and the coming events.

I felt so happy to be there and also tensed – What was going to happen? How would I manage to understand and speak English as Swedish is my native language? Would I manage to fulfil the project and be selected a volunteer?

When the Volunteer Selection Programme was announced to be open for overseas participants during the autumn 2018 I felt a very strong desire to participate. I wanted to learn God’s Way and I desired to share God’s Truth with the world, and I still do. But the thought of being away such a long time also awoke a lot of worries I had to work through.

The purpose of the programme was a trial and test period to identify persons who have a sincere desire to serve, to give gifts to the world and live and work God’s Way. Eloisa and Tristan described the programme as a three week-long “job interview”, where they would have the possibility to assess if we had a desire:
to love God, ourselves/soulmate, others and the environment,
to be humble; to feel our emotions as they occur, with respect for others,
for personal truth; about our own issues,
to learn Gods Truth, have Faith, and to take Action.

They wanted to assess our attitude to do things God’s Way and if we took responsibility for our emotions. We were going to be assessed by the principles of Truth, Love, Humility, Faith, Action and Self-Responsibility.

To be able to do this Jesus (AJ Miller) and Mary (Mary Luck), the founders of God’s Way Ltd, had created a project format with one week of working with different tasks, and then one off week. During the off weeks we had the possibility to process emotions, time for personal reflections, rest and work with the assignments that was part of the VSP; a research about insects and a report and a presentation about how we desire to benefit the world. In total it was three working weeks and two off weeks. Jesus and Mary were also mentoring Eloisa and Tristan during the program.

The tasks that had been chosen were activities that would confront us in different ways; weeding Mother of Million, clean containers and make an inventory of their content, create a firebreak, experimenting with digging holes in fish scale to keep water on the land, seed collection, construction work, cleaning machinery, cleaning the Divine Truth/God’s Way office and work in the DT studio.

Safety and Documentation

High importance was put into safety for the participants during our work with the tasks, as well as to document what we were doing.

One of the prerequisite tasks to attend the VSP was to do an online White Card safety training. During each activity one or two persons were chosen to work as a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) to be responsible for identify risk and hazards during the work and eliminate them. After the day the task included writing a safety report to document what risks and hazards were noticed during the activities and how they were taken care of.

The White Card course, and the requirements to get a Unique Student Identifier number from the Australian Government, was a real trial for me. It took me 24 hours to work through all the videos in the course. That triggered a lot of fear of not being able to fulfil it, and as a consequence of that, not being accepted at the VSP! Part of the time I was able to feel the fear, but mostly I was living in it and causing myself more problems.

For each day we were instructed to bring our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) necessary for that day’s work (all or some of sturdy work boots, safety glasses, earmuffs or ear plugs, hard hat, high visibility reflective vest, work gloves, dust masks) as well as light long sleeve shirts, light long pants, a sun hat and sun protection, and food for lunch and water bottle.

A Data Collecting team consisting of a notetaker and a photographer were also chosen. The purpose was to document the tasks we were doing, the workflow of the tasks and principles and purpose of the tasks to be able to inform others about God’s Way of doing things. After lunch a new Data Collection team was chosen, and after the day a Report Writing team compiled a report from that day’s two Data Collection teams.

The first day of cleaning containers and making inventory of their content, I was asked to be photographer together with Cathy, who was to take notes, and then we compiled the report the next day. To begin with I felt nervous about taking photographs, but it did not take long before I really enjoyed that. It was fun to explore the working area and the work going on and figure out how to document that with photos. I also tried to take part of the work in between taking photographs, but that was not possible, as I missed to notice what happened in other areas of the work. I really felt happy to work with Cathy, not just because it was fun to work together, but I almost panicked with the thought of figure out the proper way of writing the report, and in English.

I and Cathy are compiling the report. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.

One important part in God’s Way organisation is to document the work activities and the result. I learned that it is loving to provide information that makes it possible for people to explore what has been done and the result, so they can benefit from that. The principle of Economy tells us to use time, matter and resources in an effective way. To have a record of the history of plans, experiments and their results makes it possible to make more loving decisions about how to proceed.

Love, care and consideration

Being a participant in the VSP meant that we had people around us that modelled what it means to aspire to live God’s Way, and we were shown a lot of love, care and consideration;

Before the VSP started Catherine Spence drove me to a hardware store and helped me to buy sturdy work boots, safety glasses and a hard hat, as I had not brought that with me from Sweden.

I thought it was such a kind thing to do and I appreciated a lot to have her with me to choose the equipment.

All the time through the working activities we were getting information, support and feedback. We were getting feedback, not only from the VSP management, but also from the volunteers that were present during the work and all of us VSP participants were encouraged to train to do the same, being open and giving feedback to each other in a loving and truthful way.

Catherine Spence and Mary Luck, both directors of God’s Way Ltd, had given the gift of the use of a shed with a brick building on their property, that had been renovated into an accommodation, a hostel. A lot of resources, both monetary, people and work had been put into create a place to stay, a home for some of us who did not live in the neighbourhood. At the Hostel there were also three washing machines and lines to dry the laundry under roof and a separate building with toilet and shower. Gods Way Ltd.’s report include more details about that, Project Summary: Creation of New Hostel Accommodation.

A new road between Catherine’s and Mary’s property and Jesus´s and Mary’s property had also been made to make it easier to walk or drive between the Hostel and the Eco Tents on Jesus´s and Mary’s property, a walk for about 15 minutes.

We were eight people who shared kitchen and living room at the Hostel; At the beginning Maya and I were living at the Hostel, Cathy lived outside the Hostel in her camping gear and Anna, Rebecka, Janya, Nicky and Andrew lived in the two Eco Tents.

I liked the Hostel, my room and the very comfortable bed I slept in very much!

My room at the Hostel. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.

The room was part of a former office, so it had both windows and a glass sliding door, which made it light and had the possibility to go outside and sit on the stairs.

The amazingly well-equipped kitchen was such a gift to us and I felt so grateful for that.

And all details they had thought of! For example, there were torches to all of us, first aid safety kit, and plenty of washing and cleaning material for us to start with. It seemed as if they had thought of everything and I felt really cared for!

The toilet was outside, so I had many magic moments during the nights to just stand and look at the enormous sky with billions of stars. It was breathtaking and emotional.

Toilet, shower and washing machine. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.

We were picked up every morning at 6.30 to be transported to that day’s activity and back again afterwards.

About every third day we were driven on a shopping tour to Kingaroy to be able to buy what we needed to make our meals for the coming days and whatever else we needed to fix.

Anna, Rebecca and Nicky decided to join me early the last morning to drive to Brisbane Airport, even if Anna’s and Rebecca’s airplane was not until 10 á clock in the evening.

I appreciated that enormously and felt relieved of not having to find my way to Brisbane on my own.

We were investigating the possibility to rent a car, when Jesus and Mary lent us their car to use for the trip to Brisbane, and Nicky, who was staying for a period, drove back the next day.

That was such an amazing gift and I felt deeply grateful for that.

The working weeks

The working days started mostly at 7.00 á clock and ended about 14.00 á clock, with a lunch break around 11.00. 

Prepared area for information meeting and lunch. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.

During the first week the group were divided in two groups. One group were taken on a 3-4-hour tour with Catherine Spence. She showed us the different locations and projects going on within Divine Truth Pty Ltd and God’s Way Ltd, while the other group worked with that day’s task.

We were taken to:

  • The Divine Truth studio and Jesus’s and Mary’s property, where they work to re-establish the environment as it once was. It was here we worked with weeding an invasive plant called Mother of Million.
Weeding Mother of Million. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.
  • Terraces Environment project, with the purpose to keep water on the land to create an environment for plants, insects, birds and animals to come back and thrive. For further details see Gods Way Ltd.´s report Project Introduction: Terrace Project
  • Experiment Material project, to develop alternatives to existing building materials. For further details see Gods Way Ltd.´s report Project Introduction: Building Materials Experiments
  • Environmental Learning Center, where swales were dug to hold moisture on the land as rehabilitation methods of re-hydrating damaged farmland. For further details see Gods Way Ltd.´s report Volunteer Selection Project: Day 7, Environment Learning Centre Working Bee. This was the place where we spend two days with cleaning containers and making inventory of their content in the first week and create a firebreak round the house for half a day during the third week.
  • Function Center. The plan for the area is to build an event hall, a vegan café and accommodations for volunteers. For further details see Gods Way Ltd.´s report Cushnie Function & Information Centre. Some of us spent time at the Function Center for one afternoon and the two last days of the VSP with collecting and documenting seeds from different native grasses. The seeds were to be spread over the terraces created at the Function Center as part of the Terraces Environment project, to speed up the recovery process of the land.
Collecting and documenting seeds at the Function center. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.

  • Caretaker’s residence. The plan for the existing house is to renovate it to a residence for caretakers of the Function Centre during the projects. For further details see Gods Way Ltd.´s report Project Introduction: Function Centre Caretaker’s Residence Renovation.
    It was at the property to the Caretaker’s residence we worked during three days with digging holes in fish scale to keep water on the land as an experiment to recover the environment.
I am learning how to use the laser level. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.

I found it very impressive to see all the places and get information about the plans for the different areas. I had no idea that the different land areas were so big and the huge number of plans and experiments that were going on.

On the Friday in the second VSP week, we were working in groups of three persons on our Research Projects about insects.

Compiling three researches to one. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.

The task was to compile our individual researches to one document and send that to the VSP facilitators. And not least important, we were also to explore and learn how to form the group and how we worked together.  If we were able to work in truth and love and being observant of how our addictions and corruptions played out between us and our reaction to that.

Thanks to feedback I got, I learned that I was actually asking the other two in the group to work for me, when I showed them parts in my research and asked them to choose from my material, instead of me suggesting what I thought could be part of our compiled report.  When that was pointed out to me, I could also sense how the energy in our work dropped, and we lost momentum, when I withdraw instead of act.

The third VSP week we were 7 participants remaining in the group. The week started with each of us giving a 15 min presentation about our assignment; Benefiting the world; what we feel passionate to do, that has the aim to resolve causes of a global problem. After our presentation, we were given feedback from Mary, Tristan and Eloisa.

I found it both amazing and humbling to take part of all person’s ideas and desires to do good in the world.

For more information about the different tasks during the weeks, see God’s Way Ltd.’s reports:

Volunteer Selection Project: Week1, April 2019
Volunteer Selection Project: Week2, April 2019
Volunteer Selection Project: Week3, May 2019

The off weeks

When the first VSP week ended, I was wondering what I was going to do during the coming off week. It was the Easter Week, and we had 10 days until the next VSP week would start, and I was already longing for that. But I didn’t have to worry. . .

We had meetings about cleaning activities of the Hostel – and worked with cleaning it, inside and outside.

Jesus and Mary visited us and talked to us about what it means to stand up for truth and to give feedback in the group. They pointed out and clarified the love of that and that backing off from someone who is angry is unloving and not God’s Way.

Some of us worked with weeding the invasive plant Mother of Million at Catherine’s property and the also invasive plant Lantana at Jesus´s and Mary´s property.

As we were living on Catherine´s property we now and then met her and had a chat, and she kindly invited us all to dinner at her home one afternoon.

We were picked up for shopping tours to Kingaroy and Cathy and I once took the opportunity to visit Nourish Café in Kingaroy and had a very tasty lunch.

We invited Catherine, Jesus and Mary, Tristan and Eloisa with Isabel, Charlie and Archie to dinner one afternoon in the first off week, and the second off week we also included the other participants in the VSP.

I am not used to cook food to a lot of people, so I felt a bit nervous about that. But I learned that if we five persons each prepared a meal for about two persons (four persons the second week), it would be enough for all. And it was and was a lot of leftovers! The time we spent together listening to Jesus and Mary, asking questions and getting feedback was such a gift and precious, and also challenging for me.

Tristan came and visit us at the Hostel, and we talked and played games he had brought and taught us.

I did feel a bit hesitant and resistance at the beginning to play games, but his enthusiasm was encouraging and we had fun!

The second off week Rahni arranged a day tour to Bunya Mountains National Park, a place where Rainforest still exist in Queensland. It was about 60 km away from Wilkesdale where we lived and it is Queensland’s second oldest national park.

It was a huge experience to walk in that rainforest and realize the difference between how Queensland once looked, as I was told, where it today is farmland.

During the off days we also worked with completing the research report about insects in our small groups. We also were preparing and rehearsing our presentations about Benefiting the world with the others as audience and got valuable feedback on that.

The last Saturday Cornelius invited us to lunch. We spent the whole afternoon talking and eating delicious dishes he had made. It was interesting to see his home and his experiments with using poop to create fertile earth!

Feedback and Exclusion

Every Friday after the lunchbreak Tristan and Eloisa had a Feedback and Exclusion talk with the group. They reminded us about the six qualities (Love, Truth, Humility, Faith, Self-Responsibility and Action; to act both physical and emotional to change) and talked to us about our attitude towards these qualities.

The VSP facilitators Eloisa and Tristan. Photo courtesy of God’s Way Ltd.

Every person got personal feedback, and the persons who were asked to leave the VSP also had the opportunity to ask Jesus and Mary questions about the feedback they had received.

After the Feedback and Exclusion in the first week, Jesus and Mary talked to us about Volunteer Qualities. A few highlights from my notes;

  • All persons in God’s Way organisation are responsible to maintain Love, Truth, Humility, Faith and Action, and every person love doing what they are doing.
  • Tristan and Eloisa are modelling the behaviour God’s Way Organisation is looking for in people with the aspiration to be volunteers.
  • The most important thing we can do is to use our desire and will to change our emotional condition. We don’t understand how much we are controlling our environment through not feeling our emotions.
  • What God’s Way organisation wants from us is that we show ourselves as we are.

During the second week Feedback and Exclusion presentation Tristan and Eloisa informed the group of the importance to recognize the difference between being eager and demanding and to notice when we are demanding instead of being eager. They also highlighted that if we are managing our feelings instead of feeling and expressing them, we are just going away and calming ourselves and coming back in a facade.

After the Feedback and Exclusion Jesus and Mary answered questions and talked about and deepened the feedback we had been given. Some notes from my notebook are;

  • The soul hasn’t capacity to grow and receive external Truth until we have received personal truth, and how hearing personal truth challenges us.
  • We need to grow a humble approach to Truth and emotionally let go of our personal truth.
  • To live in harmony with God’s Way means to be with God and to individually and always stand up for Truth, to live truthful in all aspects of our lives, and that is what all members in God’s Way organisation must do.
Volunteer Selection and Feedback

The last Friday morning it was Volunteer Selection and Feedback. Eloisa and Tristan talked about the end goal for VSP, which is to create a team of dedicated people who are:
– working towards common goal,
– living God’s Way,
– sharing God’s Truth with the world, and
– creating love-based change in the world through example.

The persons who were assessed to have an aspiration to serve, to give gifts to the world and live and work God’s Way were selected volunteers. I was not selected a volunteer.

Some of the feedback I got was that I during the third week was in resistance to get feedback to be able to keep up a façade towards myself and others. I was not honest with not coping with digging pits anymore, and as I choose to be in a façade to avoid feeling my tiredness and pain, I got more and more angry, controlling and demanding. They encouraged me to be more truthful with myself and with others around me, to be honest with who I am. From Jesus and Mary, I also got the feedback that my heart’s desire is more to get love than to give love. They encouraged me to look at all my daily activities and explore the motivation and feelings behind them. Is it to love others?

Personal reflections

After I got feedback, I wished that I had had that feedback after the first week, so I would have had the time to feel about that and start to change . . . But I had got that feedback!

In my notes I could read that I after the first week got feedback to dare to be truthful about what I noticed in the group, instead of backing off and after the second week I was asked to continue to be more truthful and to explore when I got resistive and demanding. I had heard the feedback, but I had missed to feel about it. I thought I had, but I hadn’t.

It is now four months since I got home to Sweden after the VSP. It hasn’t passed one day without memories, thoughts and feelings about what happened; situations, meetings, conversations, experiences and more. The first 4-5 weeks back home were a constant nightmare. I felt I had lost my foothold in life, not knowing who I was anymore and feeling really, really bad.

During the two first VSP weeks I also got the feedback that I have a soft and bubbly nature. That really surprised me – I have never in my whole life experienced such a quality inside myself as far as I remember. The last couple of weeks I have actually had small glimpses of just that.

I believe the VSP experience has the potential to be my life’s biggest turning point!

I feel deeply grateful for all love, care and kindness I was shown, a gratefulness that is growing more and more in retro perspective than what I was able to feel during the experience.

If I want to be a volunteer in Divine Truth Pty Ltd and God’s Way Ltd I need to do the VSP again. I desire that!

2019-09-14, Anna Skevik

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