Friday, November 15, 2013

What Does Service Mean To You?

Most of us live more blessed lives than we will ever know. We seem to enjoy picking at the small things that “ruin” our day like stressing about having to wake up early for work or class, upset about the fact that the line at the bank’s drive thru is too long, or grumbling about our Starbucks coffee taking 10 minutes to create when we are in a rush. Everything is so fast-paced and we do not necessarily make time for what really matters.

Faith. Family. Service.

Today, a classmate and I had the opportunity to volunteer at a local Christian boarding school for children who have been separated from their families. The majority of the students have been taken in from Ethiopia and one student is from the United States. We learned the background stories of all these children.

These children have lived lives that none of us could never even imagine. Poverty living arrangements and neglect that we absolutely cannot fathom. However, people like the directors of Heritage Mission have opened their hearts and their home to these remarkable children. Transforming their lives into extraordinarily family and faith based. All of the students have developed big dreams and big hopes for their future.

We were honored to have met the students and we felt so welcomed by them in numerous ways. We helped do various projects such as crafts for an upcoming local Christian festival, set the table for lunch, help prepare lunch, and help with dishes. All of which they thanked us over and over with a bright smile on their face. I must say, I was blown away at their kind gestures and ability to make us feel at home.

One of the students, 8 years old, came from a troubled childhood including medical problems that have caused her to become blind. She was so very quick witted with my classmate and I that she had us cracking up laughing. And she loved it just as much as we did! In the time we spent with her, she was probably laughing 90% of it. Her positive spirit is so contagious, just like the other students’.

The wonderful thing about these students is how strong of a faith they have for God and their hearts for service. Just by their smile alone you can feel their desire to help others and to better not only their own lives, but those around them.

I am beyond amazed by these students and people of God, humbled by their generosity of letting us into their home/classroom, and thankful to have had the privilege to see this incredible school first hand.
Something tells me Heritage Mission will become a lifelong relationship. :)

On that note, what does service mean to you?

Romans 12:9-13 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.