by Jon DeActis
The Christmas story teaches us about the baby Jesus coming to earth and sets the example of complete servanthood. At Christmas time the youth and young adults at Westview always appreciate ways in which they can serve and give to others. This past Christmas our College & Career Life Group set their sights on helping with a church-wide project called “Hopeful Gifts for Change,” a Canadian Baptist Ministries initiative. The challenge set before the church was to purchase the whole catalogue. Choices included buying a goat for a family, to buying water for a village, to helping someone obtain various kinds of education in some of the poorest areas in the world. The College & Career group of six pooled their money together and raised $300 to purchase some amazing gifts to help others their age and young children. The excitement of this group picking and choosing five or six different gifts reminded me that caring and serving others is such a joyful act, one that comes from serving hearts.
Youth Group (Grade 6-12) spent an evening handing out 300 gift cards from Tim Hortons to busy shoppers in our neighbourhood and to people downtown at the homeless shelter and at Victoria Park in the downtown core. Watching this group was a reminder to me of the importance of teaching servanthood. For some in our group, this concept was new and a stretch. For others, it was exciting as they have experienced this in the past. For those who were stretched, the transformation happened right before our eyes, in the moment, from being anxious yet curious, to seeing the joy of smiles, to feeling pleased and even excited about giving to and serving others.
After listening to these two groups, I’ve been wondering who really was served? While others received some tangible gifts, I think our groups really received much more – lifetime learning – by understanding the importance of serving and caring for others.