One of the core values we teach the youth in our programs is the importance of service and of giving back. With the constant bombardment of messages from modern culture such as, “What’s in it for me?” or “Me, myself and I,” we try to instill in them, by word and example, how a life of service to others is rich and rewarding and a big contributor to peace in our hearts and in the world. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
Over the holidays, we received a large donation of blankets as well as gifts of food (100 dozen tamales, 15 prepared Christmas dinners, and a variety of other staples). So we invited some of the young people to help us load up the van and deliver these gifts to people in the surrounding area who were most in need. Off we headed driving on the dirt roads to the families we knew could use this boost.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
You can see from their smiling faces that the young people enjoyed their mission – not only delivering the blankets and food, but also visiting with these neighbors and hearing a little about their struggles and difficulties. They also received their gratitude and appreciation.
When the day was done, the young people shared what the day meant to them. One of the boys said, “I felt so happy sharing with the people. I felt more joy today in giving to them than I do in receiving presents myself.”