What the Sunbeam boys taught me about trusting God and Being Thankful and Compassionate
by Karen Taylor Bennett, Children Ministries Leader
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
I promised you that I would let you know the outcome of last weekend’s Children Mission Activities that had me fearing the worst would happen. Conversely, and to my relief, the Sunbeam trip was a surprise, a lesson and a blessing all rolled into one. Both the boys and our children had rousing fun. I left the Home thanking God for proving Himself true, even if a little disheartened about the shoeless feet of most of the boys.
In a previous post, I shared my apprehension that we would not have had enough to take to the boys as gifts. Then, struggling on shaky faith, I made reference to two stories of faith in the Bible: when Jesus told Peter, Andrew, James and John to cast their nets on the other side of the boat after their nets came up empty all night, and the fish bounty that followed, and the miracle experienced by the widow of Zarepath who had nothing to make bread for Elijah but gave him of the little she had anyway, and was blessed with more than her pantry could hold.
Well, God did not provide a bounty, but I received enough gifts together that could put a dent into the Home’s school supplies expense bill.Residents of Johnson Hill in the Hellshire community altogether donated dollars and coins amounting to $2,190.00. With this, I purchased various school supplies, namely exercise books, writing sheets, graph paper, pens, pencils, rulers, and geometry sets that could be shared among the boys. A Children’s Ministries team member and an elder from another church in Portmore donated toiletries.
In all, we brought three boxes of supplies and 2 gallon tub of ice-cream for the boys. We wanted to do so much more because the need is so great, but we are grateful for what little that the Lord has provided. The smiles on faces, the cheer the boys experienced from our ministry activities were even more priceless, and we know that we were able to make a difference, if even for one evening.
The evening’s success can well be attributed to the Boys of Sunbeam who surprised us with their enthusiasm, Bible Knowledge and politeness. Whether it was self-introductions game, Bible Quiz, Sunbeam talent contest, the participation was high and their excitement contagious. I and my ministry workers were impressed.
For our boys and girls, the Mission trip was a unique experience. They were blessed. While our main mission was to impress Jesus’ love on the hearts of the boys, it was our prayer that our children would be so impacted that they would be changed by the experience spiritually and materially. If we have inspired in them an urgency or desire to have compassion for and to serve those who are less fortunate, we would have achieve our Kingdom goal of making our children into missionaries for Christ.
Lessons I gained
The lesson I gained in all this is, God doesn’t need us to do His work; He just wants us to give our all, and he will reward our total sacrifice by finishing the good work started in us. When we serve others, God gets the glory, but we reap the blessing. When we can touch another human being’s life, a flame flickers in our spirit and ignites our drive to become missionaries. And, this is all God wants –to bring out His character in us. Not us sitting on cushioned chairs Saturday after Saturday, or Sunday after Sunday in our cathedrals, singing hymns and preaching sermons, while men, women and children die hopeless and desolate, never hearing about his grace.
He expects from us a selfless service. That, my dear friends, is the soul of our ministry; a more fertile ministry may not be found than our ministry to and through children.
If we think for one minute that good works will not save us, I invite you to click and read this famous parable Jesus told of the Sheep and the Goats on the day of Judgement. http://biblehub.com/context/matthew/25-31.htm
Finally, let me express a big thank you to our sponsors, donors, volunteers, and supporters, namely:
- Elder Lynton McLeod and Bro Morgan- transportation
- Elder Andre Williams – Portmore SDA Church – toiletries/groceries
- Bro Michael Morris – Hellshire SDA – part sponsorship of gas expense
- Steve and Mr Mack – shop owners in Johnson Hill
- The people of Johnson Hill who donated money to our Collection Drive
- Sis Norma Morgan – toiletries/groceries
- Sis Shannon McLeod – help with packaging our box
- The Children of Hellshire SDA who sang and participated variously in the programme for the boys
- Sis Sharon Coombs, invincible visionary and co-labourer, Carlene Williams, and Thelma Kamaka, Children Ministry leaders who provided so much support
- Brick-Antoni Small for photograph
- Cameile Graham, who made it possible for me to add more sweetness to the boys’ evening
May God bless you and your families abundantly.
My intention is to maintain a relationship with the home and continue to encourage those with means of the bright, talented, disciplined and God-fearing boys with whom we got to spend a few hours last Saturday.
Remember, if you can, to share what you have: volunteer time, prayer for the Home or a monthly donation to Sunbeam. Put shoes on the feet of these young men, ages 10 to 31. Go to http://www.sunbeammission.com/ and make a donation that could make a difference.
Here are some highlights of our Mission Trip in photos.
My Mission trip to the Sunbeam Home taught me three things:
- to trust God more. Prove Me now, the Lord says … Mal 3:10
- to be more thankful. Got shoes on your feet, food to eat, parents and siblings who love you? There are others who don’t. Give thanks.
- to have more compassion to those less fortunate, but more than that, do something to help alleviate their burdens. We have a work to do.
What about you? Look around you. Do you know someone in need, a family, a child? What can you do to help relieve their struggle or just bring cheer to their hearts? Share your mission pledge with me.
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