Day 3: Hope in Community

Scripture- Philippians 2:3-4

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

 

There is a saying that “Many hands make light work”. This is very true when we think about wanting to make a change in our communities. When our focus is not on ourselves, God opens our hearts to ways that we can make a difference within our communities.

The children that attended Camp Change took a tour of the Baptist State Convention of NC this summer, after learning about tithing at Camp Change we wanted to show them where their tithes go. Children saw firsthand how tithing at their home churches went back to support mission work all over NC, the US, and even in other countries! They met with leaders at the Baptist State Convention that took them through the different ministries that are supported from the churches tithes. Children took turns touring the dental bus that travels to communities in need and provides free or low-cost healthcare.  Could you imagine having a toothache and not being able to afford help for it? When dentist around NC donate their time on the dental bus, they are giving real hope and relief to people in real pain! What a witness that must be show Gods love!

Camp Change children also heard stories and viewed pictures of how the Baptist Men and women went to help in places that had been affected by disasters such as floods, hurricanes and even earthquakes. The groups were able to provide millions of meals and assisted with recovery efforts. To serve and help that many people, it took the helping and loving hands of many, many people working together in the name of Jesus.

That same day our children also heard about the Appalachian Backpack project. This is a ministry that provides backpacks full of food, clothing, school supplies and gifts at Christmas to children who live in the Appalachian coalfields. These children’s parents lost their jobs when coalmines were closed, and as a result has left these families in unimaginable poverty. This touched the hearts of many children, so the Camp Change children of Antioch Church decided to act on the compassion they felt for the other children whose families were going through a tough time. The children partnered with many other ministries at Antioch by making sample backpacks and posters to tell the church about this ministry. Many of the children took home backpacks and participated with shopping and packing backpacks with their families too! Because everyone acted together for Jesus, ninety children in a community will receive Christmas backpacks full of gifts but most importantly each one was packed full of hope and love! Ninety children are a lot but when you combine Antioch’s backpacks with the backpacks that churches all around North Carolina collected as well, over 12,000 children will read the message of Jesus’ love this Christmas when they open the Bibles in their backpacks!

What can you do this Christmas to bring hope to others?  Could you organize your family to work together on a Christmas project or together save money for missions?  When we work together, we can do awesome things in Jesus’ name and bring hope to others.

 

Prayer:  Jesus, Savior and friend, help me to be a humble giver and not look to benefit from my giving, but rather trust God to send the blessing.  Give me eyes to see and ears to hear those who are in need in my community and help me to be eager to reach out in love.

Activity:  As a family, talk about a favorite gift you have received. How did it make you feel? How do you think the children who will receive backpacks through The Appalachian Backpack Project will feel when they open their bags this Christmas?  Would you like to be a part of bringing someone that kind of hope and joy this Christmas?

Challenge:  Start a “Giving Jar” at your house. Instead of collecting lose change for drinks at the gas station or the latest toy, put it in your giving jar. Decide on a money goal that you would like to reach. When you meet your goal use your money to give to a ministry you are passionate about.