Feb 21

Learning how to help others & loving our “neighbors”

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

Recently, our children assembled hygiene kits for students in Africa as part of a special 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.

Combined with this activity, and as part of our resilience series, we talked about the Parable of the Good Samaritan and just what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.” We discussed how it can be hard to know how to ask for help,IMG_2585 and how we can be hesitant to offer assistance, too. In assembling the kits, our children were encouraged to write a note of blessing to the students that would receive their gift, and how the note from them was just as important as the tangible gifts they were giving… because it symbolized their desire to connect on a personal level.

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.

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, it is hard to argue against the therapeutic power of service and acts of kindness and encouragement. I hope you enjoy reading two of the notes that were included in our hygiene kits:

Tiger-TY-hygiene-kit3 Crosses-TY-hygiene-kit