Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One of my Favourite Things

Today I got to do one of my favorite things. I talked with another woman after an exercise class about considering tutoring someone. As we talked I realized she had a heart for children and she could probably be a leader in her new city where she and her husband are moving.

She has retired from her work but still wants to do something for others. I told her about an elder in a church where we have a tutoring program and how this elder had the vision of how the six year old boy because he had gotten one to one help would make it through high school.

"There are reasons why a child falls behind," my exercise friend J. told me, "Sometimes they don't get the basics because of a bad home situation like a divorce." These children are going to be behind grade level because they couldn't or would not learn for that period of time.

Whatever the reason an adult can set in motion a chance for this person to catch up and have a life.

We know that God is merciful. In fact HIS MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY MORNING.

Were you ever in a position where you needed to learn a skill and someone took time to help you understand and perform it? I bet most of us can remember these people and name them because they cared enough to help us break through.

That is what tutoring programs can do. And because we have a church home in each city where we encourage the tutoring to take place, the church has a door to not only help the child but to plant seeds of truth and show love to the entire family.

The poor and needy know that they need help. We can learn from them as we who have been given so much reach out our hands. I hope to inspire people and especially to inspire people to help one child who is struggling.

Is giving vision and encouraging others to start a group one of my favourite things? Yes it is.

When you help a child, you have a chance to give that child a future and a hope. you only have time to give but what you impart can transform a child and his family.

Encourage hope. Fight for those who are helpless. You will be more than compensated for your efforts.

What Makes A Friend

Eloise Hardman was the first secretary of Project Lost Sheep. She came to the first meeting because I had been telling her of this group to help the children, but mainly she came because she was my friend although decades older.

In this era of instant communications I remember things about her for those who might want a real friend.

First, she had time for me. That might seem a strange thing to note but I remember sitting in her living room in Palo Alto and her sitting across from me not rushed. I had three young children and the delight of sitting with an adult who listened to me was wonderful.

Give the gift of time.

A friend will listen. I bet I bored her at times, but she never bored me because she talked about books she had read, her bonsai, some of her adventures. She also asked and followed with real interest the progress of my children.

And so in the night of question, she became the first secretary of the board. "I can take minutes," she said, "but I don't do the computer." She was about 80 years old at the time. Here she was willing to do the job for a new group and be part of something new.

At her service in that same room a number of years later, there were around 50 people. I was astonished at how many friends she had made and maintained. She gave people her time and her attention and so she grew a garden of love around her.

Just Say "Hi"

Once I heard a very successful missionary talk. In fact he had the entire sermon to speak. Well, we expected something, but not what he told us.

First he was involved in getting youth in a local college interested in Christianity. He did this by going down to college at night and listening to them. Many of them were from other countries and he was interested in what is called cross cultural ministry. To succeed he had to be in their court and know what their issues were. In time there was a breakthrough.

He had a neighbor from a foreign country and the missionary went across the street. Later the man told him "you were the only one who came over." This man was humble about all his achievements.

"Take out a pen," he said with a lift to his voice, "and I will let you know my great secret."

Those who were dozing woke up and scrambled for iPhones or paper. He let us get ready, then he said with a twinkle and a wave. "You just go across the street and say "Hi" !

There was an a bit of disquiet in the listeners. Could it be that simple? Had we ever tried it? What about the person who hadn't said a word to us? What about cultural differences? What about age/sex differences.

It is very easy to be too polite to bother anyone. One day Jesus was sitting by a well thirsty. A Samaritan woman came with her bucket. He asked her for a drink. She was shocked because Jews did not speak to Samaritans. He proceeded anyway and those of you who know the story know what happened.....she discovered living water that satisfied her.

Jesus said "hi" by asking her for water!

A recent Barnard study has just reported that 95 percent of Christians today will go to their death without telling another about Jesus, The Lord. Don't complicate things or delegate to the clergy this job. Your job is to walk across the street and say HELLO!