Do you ever feel like a tiny grain of sand in an overwhelming world? We watch the news, and our hearts are broken by mind-boggling suffering. The conflict in Iraq and Syria hits my family hard because it’s relatively close. Kobani, for instance, is 800 miles away from Izmir, where we live. Over a million refugees have entered Turkey, many with only the clothes on their backs.
This is happening at my doorstop. The sheer magnitude of it overwhelms. What could I possibly do to make a difference?
I learned a lesson from my kids.
News reports impacted them deeply. Many mornings they prayed for refugees at breakfast. During a prayer time at church a few weeks ago, I heard Camille and her friend Isabelle praying heaven down over the camps.
But when Andres told me that he, Camille, and Isabelle wanted to hold a fund-raising dinner for refugees, I thought, “Right. That’s a great idea, but it doesn’t sound like a project for three teenagers.”
They said they wanted to have a dinner for 25 people at our church on October 23; I had mixed feelings. October happened to be the busiest month of our home schooling year. I asked Andres if he didn’t think it would be better to wait a month until after he finished his university applications and took the SAT exam.
I was hoping we could make a difference at a more convenient time. They were gripped by the plight of refugees. NOW.
So they printed and sold tickets. They planned a menu and recruited a chef to help them.
Mind you, they did not do things the way my 50 year old obsessive compulsive self would have. They went about their project like three teens would, not so worried about organization and planning.
But what they did was beautiful, and I was so proud of them.
Friday night they shopped for food. On Saturday, Isabelle and Yetkin the Chef showed up at our house at 9:00 a.m. to start work. They made cheesecake, chopped vegetables, and concocted sauces.
Later on they transported everything to the church building. They set up tables and made place cards. The kids were still cooking when guests arrived.
Dressed in black and white, they served the dinner. Isabelle showed a video she’d made about the refugees; Andres and Camille made a few comments. Their day ended at 11:00 p.m. with dish washing.
They raised 750 lira.
But the results went beyond that. Adults were touched and encouraged to see 3 teens step out of their comfort zone, step up to the plate, and do something for refugees in Turkey.
Their example challenged me.
How often do I think it would be a great idea to help those in need, but then I never get around to doing anything?
Jesus called us the light of the world, the salt of the earth. Light is good news to the darkness, and salt is certainly good news to food. What can we do today to be good news to our world? Maybe we could make a phone call to someone who’s hurting. Maybe we could actually stop to give something to that person standing with a sign at the intersection on our way to work.
Join me again on Friday, when I’ll talk about practical things that we can do to be good news.
I’m linking up with Holly Barrett today. Check out her Testimony Tuesday for more encouraging stories.