My friend, Mindy, and I just attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit in Billings, MT, to volunteer at the Compassion International table. Several children were sponsored and some people asked specifically about the Leadership Development Program. Michelle Tolentino’s testimony had a huge impact on several people. We enjoyed listening to the speakers throughout the two days, and gained some real good principles for life.
When the conference was over, we left to look at another large church and found it to be open. We saw an ambulance outside, and wondered if someone was hurt. Then, since it didn’t look too serious, we went on into the church to have a look around. Teenagers were coming to and from the ambulance carrying containers, holding doors for us, and being friendly. When we left, I happened to notice what the ambulance said on the side. Take a look below.
I said to the kids, “This is so cool! Can I take photos?” They agreed, and then I asked the magic question: “What are you going to do? What are you using it for?” I figured it was for fun youth outings, object lessons, camps, etc. I never expected the answer they gave — “Oh, we’re going out to take food and supplies to homeless people. We know where they live. We know how to find them. We know where they sleep.”
We were stunned. “Are you kidding?” I said. “That is what we’re all about — We’re Compassion Advocates, and we’re all about helping children in poverty!” One of the girls said, “Oh! Compassion International? I just sponsored a child through Compassion a week ago, and I have a question for you. How do I send in my payment?” This precious young girl was not only helping the poor in her own town, but also abroad. What a beautiful example!
Well, well. God had engineered this meeting at the exact right moment — she had a question I could answer. But greater than that was the example these kids were to us. We were so touched by their service, that when they took off quickly (you could almost hear the siren wailing and see the lights blinking as they literally peeled out of the parking lot to help others in need) we could only sit in the car and cry. Once we started to compose ourselves, we had the thought that we should’ve asked to go with them, or at least to have been “ambulance chasers.” How blessed it would’ve been to watch this outpouring of love in action. We actually went out looking for them, but could not find them. They were with the poor and needy. We know where they live. We know how to find them. We know where they sleep. As it turns out, these kids go out at least two times/week for three hours each time. There was a street dance in town that night, but they weren’t at the street dance; they were being channels of love to others in need.
This was a great example of leadership, one that will stay with us forever. One fact that God brought to our mind is that adults are often willing to send money, but young adults go to the need itself. I’m so glad God arranged for us to come across this example of Servant Leadership. Would you like to follow their lead?
- Sponsor a child in need
- Visit the homeless
- Visit a child in a third world country
- Provide food for the hungry
- Take medical supplies to those in need
- Support teens that are ministering to the needy
- Participate in local food kitchens and shelters
- Support Compassion’s Leadership Development Program
- See the needs of the poor as an emergency that cannot be delayed