As Christians, one of our deepest desires is to reach out, show love, and give hope to others. It becomes even more precious when we do this in collaboration with others. But so many times we become paralyzed by wrongly assuming that, when it comes to impoverished communities, only the “big projects” make a real difference.
Last year some World Renew staff attended a training on truth-centered transformation [www.reconciledworld.org] and learned that one of the best ways to transform a community and build strong, long-lasting relationships is to perform “little” acts of love that require very little financial investment – often less than $10.
Hhhmmm... Just how possible is this?! A visiting team of students from Calvin Christian High School in Grandville, Michigan, together with World Renew partner church, Ajulu Church of Uganda, in the diocese of Northern Uganda, were challenged by World Renew Uganda to test this theory.
In July of this year, fourteen excited students and their four leaders boarded a bus with a team from the Ajulu Church youth group to journey to The Father’s House, a Ugandan orphanage. Their “little” act of love? Planting onion seedlings, fruit trees, and shade trees in The Father’s House vegetable garden, bought for only $10. Here’s an excerpt from the Calvin Christian students’ blog about their trip:
“We began with introductions in the church and then proceeded to transplant green onions to a field. Next, we each planted a tree throughout the property. There were both fruit trees and shade trees that we planted. We then had a blast playing with the kids. :) Many people in the group played soccer with the children and we won 2-1 so that was exciting! Some people also threw frisbees and jumped rope with the children. Everyone was very happy to have us there. The kids were constantly smiling and laughing with us. We didn't want to leave them and they didn't want to leave us! The women of the church prepared a traditional Ugandan lunch for us. It consisted of goat, chicken, rice, beans, cabbage, and posho which is made out of maize. This posho is used as their silverware so we got an authentic experience for sure.”
To read more about their time in Uganda, check out their blog.
One of the church elders and a member of the Father’s House governing board had this to say:
“This is the proper way of doing things – these two groups of young people working together and getting dirty together in the garden is wonderful to witness. It’s good to see the young people from North America playing freely with our children and getting dirty in our gardens – they are now one of us. It is very encouraging to our young people and I am sure that all these young people – even those from America — will never forget this day.”
So, do you think the theory of “little” acts of love worked? Would you like to test it out in your community?
Please share your experience with us.
World Renew Uganda