Luke 9: 57-62
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Last year, around this time of year, I was feeling the need and desire to begin serving others again. I had not volunteered for quite some time and was really missing that part of my life. I had heard about Place of Hope and began searching for opportunities within the organization where I could serve. I settled upon preparing meals because:
- I really enjoy cooking.
- I already usually prepare enough to serve 8, since that’s almost how many are in our family (each family at POH is 2 parents and up to 6 children).
- I know what it’s like to try to prepare a meal and have little ones running around needing attention all at the same time!
So, after setting things up with Holly at Place of Hope, I began taking meals once a month. It has been so nice to know that I am helping in some small way. I’ve been able to meet some of the children, and Holly has been great, sharing with me some of the goings-on at the campus. Sometime during the year, I don’t remember when, I learned that they really don’t have nearly as many meals coming in as they would like. So, I decided to begin taking two meals each time I go so that two families can have a break from cooking, at least on that night. This has actually helped me to begin streamlining my own cooking…..well on those days, anyway. I create a sort of assembly line (sometimes just for myself, but sometimes various kids are helping), and have 3 dishes lined up on the island; one for our family and two for the families we are serving. It’s actually quite fun for me, and the little ones enjoy helping as well. But most of all, it has helped me to begin focusing on others again. I think when we don’t make a habit of doing things for other people we can become even more selfish. God has been teaching me to be more giving through this service opportunity, and I am thankful.
Something else that I felt compelled to do around February of last year, was to begin sponsoring a child through Compassion International. I love this organization! Please take the time to poke around their site. There are so many opportunities and there is so much information available to you to help you make a choice about becoming a sponsor. I decided to sponsor a little boy from Nicaragua. We have received 3 or 4 letters from him this year, at least 2 drawings, two photos of him….it’s been so great to be able to see him, communicate with him, to know how we are helping him. It costs a mere $38. That meets his needs, sends him to a special care center where he learns about Jesus and His love. We are also able to give gifts to him at Christmas and on his birthday, send an extra gift anytime we like, (they ask you to send money and then they send someone with your child to choose needed or desired items), as well as gifts to the family. It’s wonderful! There are opportunities to visit your child, too. All of the information is on their web site, so please follow the link above to get all the details.
When I began working in November, I knew that I wanted to use some of the money I am making to do some more good in the world. I have just begun sponsoring another child, a little girl in Indonesia this time. I cannot wait to hear from her! I have already written her a letter and sent some photos to her of our family. We can send handwritten letters or there is an online option as well. I try to write at least every 2-3 months, but of course you may choose how frequently to do so. I am hoping that someday we might be able to visit with one or both of our sponsored children. It would be a very special thing. And I am also planning to sponsor more children in the future.
Giving to others has always been enjoyable to me. However, giving to someone that is in need, to know that God is filling their need through me, it is a joy! And it is a call from God….for all of us. It may not be for you to sponsor a child. God’s call on your life is individual to you. But think about it. How are you helping to further His kingdom? How are you using the resources (and that is not always monetarily….it could be time or talent) He has given you to serve Him, to serve others? It is my prayer, as we march on into 2012, that I will continue to seek what He would have me do to serve others, to share His love with them. I pray that you will join me in that effort. You will receive so much that is priceless, just as I have.