Unexpected Response

Written by Doug Wagner | Executive Director


Would kids from the inner city, struggling with their own context of poverty and violence, be interested in the needs of kids in similar circumstances in another land? Don’t they have enough trouble without hearing about the troubles of others?

That was the question the staff at Fellowship House asked when a couple, recently returned from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, volunteered to bring a program about their trip to the children at Fellowship House. To the staff’s surprise and delight, the kids loved it, couldn’t get enough of it, asked all kinds of questions the most important of which was, “How can we help?”

Our Summer Interns say they were blown away by the compassion and generosity of these third and fourth grade kids. One of their Bible lessons was on the Parable of the Good Samaritan--that God expects us to be generous givers--and they responded in kind.

The next week, one of the girls was carrying around a clear plastic bag full of clothing. When asked why, she said she was going to give them to a child who she knew needed this extra clothing from her own closet. When asked how she was going to get them to the Dominican Republic, she said the girl who she knew needed clothes was one of the kids at Fellowship House.

One of the activities this summer was a carnival in which the kids could win prizes. One intern saw a child carrying a pair of shoes she had won, intending to give them to another girl who missed the carnival. She knew how much that child wanted to be there so the shoes were for her friend. Soon this same child had a whole arm full of prizes she had collected at the carnival. Asked what she is going to do with them, she says she is going to give them to other kids in the program who are needy.

There is a lovely poem, in which a famous English poet tells of a mystical experience he had. Seated at a sidewalk table, sipping his tea and considering his life, he says that he suddenly was struck by a wonderful sense of well-being--that he was blessed and equipped to bless others. Those who know the Good News can smile and affirm that experience. We are teaching these kids that God loves them and every other soul on earth, and that when we trust God, we will have what we need and more. We are blessed and we too can bless, and in doing so we know the joy of having God’s grace flow through our lives into the lives of others.

You have known that feeling when you chose to send a gift to support the work of Fellowship House. Thank you for sharing your own blessedness by giving to help these kids. It is unlikely that any of us will match the compassion and generosity they were demonstrating this summer, but let’s try.

Doug WagnerComment