For Natalie Wilmoth, it is all about service.
Wilmoth, a recent high school graduate, was a standout softball player for South Whidbey High School the past few years. While she made a name for herself on the diamond, it’s her efforts off the field that define who she is.
She grew up as a teacher’s child and attended Island Christian Academy. It was there she was introduced to community service, and that introduction has morphed into a passion to help others.
As a youngster, Wilmoth was involved in a variety of service projects, from cleaning the fairgrounds, restoring parks, working with senior citizens, caroling to helping with food drives.
“ICA has also led me to other community opportunities such as serving at the Pregnancy Care Clinic fundraising dinner and volunteering at different churches as a childcare provider,” she said. “In addition, it has introduced me to a youth group that has added to my desire to serve. As a part of this youth group, I have served many in-need members in the community. This youth group also led me on my first international mission.”
As a member of the South Whidbey Assembly of God youth group, she spent about a week in a small village outside of San Quintin, Mexico, in 2016.
The team mixed with locals, painted a church and participated in games and other activities.
“It was truly an incredible time ministering to them and watching our team grow as well,” Wilmoth said. “While I am not even close to being fluent in Spanish, I discovered I was able to communicate and get to know the kids individually by engaging with them through games, crafts and activities.”
She was touched by one child, Daniel, who was about 10 and asked for prayer to keep him and his brother safe walking to school.
“This prayer request has really stuck with me and something I still think about and pray about to this day,” she said.
Last summer, working with Royal Servants, a branch of Reign Ministries, Wilmoth traveled to Scotland for a month.
Unlike the group that went to Mexico, the Scotland team was all strangers; Royal Servants brought together high school- and college-aged students from around the United States for the trip.
“By the end, many strong friendships were formed,” Wilmoth said. “Each day was filled with new things, such as planning youth nights, picking up garbage in the towns, exploring Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, or a secluded town in the Highlands, and spending time in the Word and talking with the locals.”
The team members were not allowed to bring their phones, which was “actually very relaxing and refreshing,” according to Wilmoth.
One town they visited, Dunoon, is economically depressed and the local youth “voiced a lack of hope for the future.”
“They explained that the yearly Royal Servants missions trips gave them something to look forward to,” she said. “While this saddened me, it made me realize how impactful a group, or even one person, can be.”
This summer Wilmoth is linked up with Royal Servants once again, this time traveling to Nepal. She is excited to see how God will impact the team and those it serves.
“While there are many differences between Mexico, Scotland, Nepal and the U.S., we are in many ways very similar. Laughter, fear and friendship are some of the things that can be recognized through every culture.”
And Wilmoth and her friends are there to bring it all together.