In three days, our Honduras/Haiti bottles will come flowing back in. Several months ago,each WCS student who wanted one was given a bank bottle to collect loose chnge for Christian orphanages we support in Honduras and Haiti. Below, from May 12, 2008, is one of my favorite stories in our thirteen year history of this project at Westbury Christian School. One person can make a difference!
It was a hectic week for me. The end of school is always busy but we also started our Honduras collection last Thursday. Our kids save change year round to sponsor two orphanages in Central America. Because of Dad's illness, I missed a considerable amount of school this Spring, putting our project behind in timing and preparation. There are so many things vying for attention at the end of the year, many after the conclusion of the school day. For teachers, some are mandatory and some are optional, but we are encouraged to be at any extracurricular event involving our kids. In my seventh period sophomore Bible class on Tuesday, Trey Wilson asked if I was coming to the Band Concert that night. I was waffling beforehand and the odds were 50-50 I would be in attendance but it's hard to say no to any youngster who wants me to witness their performance. I assured Trey I would be there ......and I was. As I drove home, I was happy I'd taken the ninety minutes to hear our musical kids do their best in a public forum. Trey was terrific, being spotlighted on both percussion and brass. He's a great young man: I've seen alot of growth in him the past several years. I also witnessed Trey in one of the most selfless acts I remember in school. Let me set the scene.
It was May 2005. I was sitting in the lobby of Mundy Hall, our main building at WCS. Several days previously, our students had begun bringing their Honduras change. Preston Hill, one of our parents, supplies specially made banks each year for our WCS kids, designed by our art classes. Many of our students- and teachers- forget to bring their bottles on the designated turn-in day. That's what I was doing at 7:15 that morning, reminding everybody passing through the front door to remember their pennies-nickels-dimes-quarters for the less fortunate. Trey was a seventh grader that Spring and he approached me, asking for another Honduras bottle. I'm the first to admit that I lack patience with middle schoolers of the male persuasion. I'd distributed the bottles back in January after making a video presentation in chapel and a short talk in each Bible class. How was it that he was requesting another bottle four months later? And then...... I remembered. A week before, there had been a big fire and the house of one of our kids had been destroyed. The student was Trey Wilson. In that moment, it became crystal clear. Trey had not been careless and lost his bottle- his plastic bank had burned up in the fire. And now, he was asking for another chance to help kids he would never meet with resources he seemed to be lacking. Allow me to put it into perspective. As a school, we were raising money to help Trey's family get back on their feet and here he is, wanting to make sure he's doing his share to bless the little ones with no one else to bless them. In Second Corinthians , Paul is exhorting the church in Corinth to give by using the example of the brethren in Macedonia:
"And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints." (2nd Corinthians 8:2-5)
I've never seen a better parallel in real life to the Scriptures than I did that day with Trey and the long-deceased Macedonians. The financial situation his family faced was temporary but try telling that to a seventh grader who just had his worldly possessions go up in flames. It's easy to give what we have in abundance. It takes faith to give out of scarcity. Jesus told us the smallest act of kindness would be rewarded, even a cup of cold water given in his name. I'll bet Trey's pennies will be remembered when the accounting comes.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven."
Henry Ward Beecher
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To see where our change goes, please visit: