Mother Teresa is a woman I have always admired.
Over 45 years of her life was spent serving others in destitution. She cared for the orphaned and dying, and touched those that society deemed "untouchable." Her life story is remarkable, but the other thing I adore about her is her honesty. She wrote about her heart for ministry and crying out for a world to know peace through love, and she wrote about her personal experiences with darkness of the soul, discouragement and doubt. She lived in the lowest of places, yet achieved some of the highest honors.
Not everyone would or could choose to live as this dear woman chose to live, but in whatever life station or economic status we find ourselves, we can do something.
Last Thursday, we did something.
We woke up before the sun, helped set-up a food pantry called Feeding Medina County, and served basic staples to local families in poverty. I was assigned to the bread table, and had fun helping find the exact kind of bread that each person favored. The table was heaping with a variety of loaves and rolls, and we had two huge boxes on the side to dig through as well. Pizza bread, sourdough, bagels, and rye bread were the most requested, and boy, how each recipient lit up when I found what they liked. This food distribution event assembles once a month, and is a giving opportunity worth waking up early for.
On Friday, we did something else. The "30 Hour Famine."
For a month, our church's junior and senior high youth group collected funds for this purpose (over $5000 total!), in hopes of raising awareness about world hunger. Our money will be used to serve needy children in Africa through the organization, World Vision. It was incredible to see the way our young people embraced this challenge, soliciting friends and family members, teachers at their school, and going door-to-door asking neighbors for help. Friday was the culmination of our efforts, as we gathered for an evening of music & worship. During the thirty hours prior or following this event, every teenager and leader fasted from something.
This is how I spent the night before my fast.
Then I gave up the main meals of my day on Friday, and came to the event hungry. I sang on one of the worship teams that night, and had the privilege of experiencing a room full of young people focused on praying for people all around the world who are suffering, and thanking our Creator for His great provision. It was a powerful evening of sincerity, passion, and raw emotion. I even found myself laying face-down prostrate at one point, a position I have felt too awkward to try before. Christ has called us to be like children, regardless of our hang-ups. On this night, we were children praying for children, and children dancing like children.
We were as we were called to be.