Feb 25

Learning gratitude through giving

Eludi1“Bishop Eludi, I would like to say thank you for your work in Africa especially with the orphans and the poor people, also understanding lives of people in need who live a life of suffering. There is a lot of suffering In Africa. I like the work you do Bishop Eludi, helping bring hope to those struggling with hunger, orphaned children, war, sickness, and so much more people don’t understand. People ask me how I know about this. I tell them I might have not seen eye to eye with a person who is suffering in Africa right now, but I know because I was once one of them.

But I know there are people like Bishop Eludi helping the people of Africa to understand that one day peace will come. I am also thankful that we can do some small thing, like putting together the Hygiene kits, to help train Bible students to be pastors and those that will help bring peace and understanding to Africa.” – written by Faith, one of our children in residence.

Eludi2Recently, our children assembled hygiene kits as a service project. These hygiene kits are given to students that come from far away to attend the International Evangelism Centre in Salika, Tanzania. At the Centre, these students prepare to be church planters and pastors to a number of countries in East Africa. The relatively few supplies—all fitting into a 1 gallon Ziplock bag—are a tremendous blessing to these eager, but often impoverished, students. The assembly of the kits allowed us a wonderful opportunity to discuss in chapel just how richly we are blessed, and that there is always something to be thankful for in the midst of our struggles in life.

In a special chapel attended by Bishop Eliudi, the founder and president of IEC-Salika, the children were able to pray for each kit they assembled and the student that would be receiving the gift. Then, after a fun activity and some questions for Bishop Eliudi, the children presented the kits, one at a time. They shook hands with Bishop Eliudi and were thanked and blessed for their generosity. The smiles on their faces told the story. For many of our children, uprooted from their homes and working through some very difficult issues and matters of relationship, it was a healthy reminder that they, too, have something to give. They could see in a very tangible way that they had been blessed to be a blessing.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive…” (Acts 20:35)

In the Chaplain’s Program at Intermountain, we feel it is important for the children to learn compassion, empathy, and the positive sense of self that comes from giving oneself in service to another. From the spirit and the energy that flowed from our chapel service with Bishop Eliudi, it is hard to argue against the therapeutic power of service and acts of kindness and encouragement. One of the highlights this year was the sharing that Faith did, sharing a bit of her adoption story that she had crafted with help from her mother and therapist.

A big thank you goes out to the many Intermountain staff that donated items for the kits we made. I am also thankful for Sami Butler for her help in arranging the visit on campus. A grand total of 32 kits were assembled, one for each child in residence, which is a fantastic feat and it was a great encouragement to Bishop Eluidi!