Kilbride: A graduate heads to Greece


Jessie Kilbride (pictured left), makes coin purses with Threads of Hope ministry, a non-profit organization whose goal is to bring freedom in women’s lives.

Kilbride: A graduate heads to Greece

November 1, 2019

“’Oh, the Places You’ll Go’” by Dr. Seuss is running through my mind as I continue to read these wonderful journey stories from former summer staffers. This week’s comes from Jessie, and if you were here at Hinton Center during her time with us, you’ll remember her bright smile, encouraging words and cheery outlook on life. She’s continued serving God in many ways since her time here and we’re excited to share a bit of her story.” — Dawn Livingston

Greetings from the North (or your favorite Illinoian)! It’s a long story how I ended up at Hinton, but one God had His hand in. I suppose I should introduce myself; I am Jessie Kilbride. I worked on the summer staff team in 2017 and for two weeks in 2018. That summer is by far my favorite yet. The friendships built, memories made, community formed, and the love we all shared cannot be topped. God was MOVING that summer — and He continues to do so even now.

Back peddling a bit — I recently graduated from Olivet Nazarene University. My senior year was not what I imagined but one for the books. It’s amazing how God works when you earnestly pray for something and that year it was for community, vulnerability, and healing. Yet God brought about it all in a very odd way — through five concussions. Never having one in my life prior, then having five forced me to slow down and focus on caring for myself.

God challenged me in more ways than I could imagine but in the best of ways. It was a year of personal healing, many memories, and building even deeper relationships. I graduated from Olivet Nazarene University (located an hour south of Chicago) this past May, majoring in public relations and strategic communications with a marketing minor. I decided to work with One Collective, a non-profit organization that believes in bringing people together to serve the oppressed. My paths crossed with them at a job fair, the summer following Hinton, and I knew I wanted to work for them in some capacity. Naturally, I decided to see if they were seeking a communication intern. They were not. However, after a couple of conversations, they decided to take me on. My world was rocked!

That summer I interned with One Collective: editing different stories, learning about the many communities, building their Instagram page from scratch with another intern, and filming the ministry of one community in Joliet, Illinois. I knew I wanted to work for them in some capacity but wasn’t sure in what capacity. After many conversations and God knocking at my heart, I decided to serve in Koukaki, Greece (a community within Athens) for two years as a short-term-team coordinator.

My focus will be three-fold: first, I will be coordinating incoming teams and connecting them with a local church. Second, I will be serving in different programs such as working with the homeless community. Third, I will be using my marketing skills to promote home goods made from women who were caught in trafficking or worked as a prostitute.

What breaks my heart are the hearts who don’t know Jesus. The ones who don’t know their worth; that they are loved and matter. I have never been one to sit back and watch as the world goes by, especially when we can so easily help others. Using the skills that God equipped me with, I want to capture their story and move people to care and want to make a difference too. And I firmly believe that together we can make an impact: one community, one life at a time.

Throughout my senior year, I had an idea of what I wanted to do and the direction I wanted my life to head in, but God had an idea. One slightly more challenging and way more rewarding. A chance to reach people I could never have imagined and inviting others to join me on this journey.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” – Isaiah 41:10

Jessie’s comment about those who don’t know their worth; that they are loved and matter reminds me so much of our theme for 2020 – “Treasured.” Friends, there are so many people we encounter every single day who don’t believe that they have worth and that they matter. Just as Jessie is using her gifts to make a difference, we each can use ours too. If you want more information about Jessie’s journey, feel free to email her at

If you are a college-aged young adult (or know someone who is) and you want to learn more about Hinton Center’s summer staff opportunities, please contact Dawn at You never know where an experience in missions will lead you… “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

[Every summer Hinton Center hires college-aged young adults who are passionate about living out their Christian faith, building relationships with others, mentoring youth, leading teams on home repair sites, and facilitating programming / activities with youth and adults. We equip and train our staff, and provide a lot of leadership development opportunities. Although summer staff live on campus (and get to eat yummy food!), they have separate lodging from youth/adult groups. The great news is our staff don’t need to be skilled in home repairs, but flexibility, positivity and motivation are musts!]