Each year Operation Barnabas leaders and staff select an OB team member from that summer’s tours to receive the Olszewski Memorial Award. This honor goes to the student who has best modeled servanthood through attitude and actions during our summer tour. The award is named after Mr. and Mrs. Walter Olszewski, much beloved and respected volunteers at CE National. For over a decade they served faithfully in the CE National production area. The O’s modeled the biblical concept of servanthood. Children and young people also held a special place in their hearts. We never want our OB students to forget the impact of Mr. and Mrs. O and people like them who give of their time in order to sacrificially minister to others.
At the OB ministry reunion, which took place at Urban Hope East in Philadelphia last weekend, the Olszewski award was presented to Abigail Benedict, who was a part of the 2019 OB East Team.
When asked why Abby was chosen as this year’s Olszewski recipient, here is what Cody Ray, the East team administrative leader had to say, Abby is someone who will answer, ‘Yes, I’ll help you,’ before knowing what she’s helping with. Her life and model is the definition of a servant leader. One of the times we saw it modeled most while on OB last summer was when we were at our home church, Connection Christian Church, during our Vacation Bible School event. She was the main point leader for setting up that event and making it happen. She did a lot of work before leaving for OB to make sure VBS would run smoothly when she got back to lead it while on OB. For the whole week, she answered every question, pointed everyone in the right direction, and poured her life into every child, leader, and OB student that was there. Even while feeling a little under the weather for a portion of our time on OB this summer, as well as getting news of a close family member passing away while she was away, she never once had a complaint come out of her mouth and kept serving like Jesus. That is who she is, all day, every day!
We congratulate Abby for her servant leadership and pray for God’s blessing in her life as she pursues her education at Lancaster Bible College. Applications for Operation Barnabas 2020 are available now at OperationBarnabas.net.