Last Sunday, three college-aged youth stopped by our church offering their services to anyone in the congregation needing “help”. Most of the congregation didn’t know what to ask for, in fact many members simply chatted with the three newcomers. In my brief talk with one of them however, I realized that they had slept in their car and had a jar of peanut butter to eat for the week – the mother in me immediately jumped forth as I invited them to dinner and someplace to stay the next night.
Several friends and family members worried that I had invited strangers into our home, however it just felt right. The three “kids” (as my son called them) were with the youth group Youth With A Mission in Dayton, Ohio and were planning a mission to India at the end of December to help – orphans, prostitutes, teens, families - Whomever they could. The reason for their visit here was in preparation for their trip; They were given a car with a full tank of gas and $20, half of which they had to give away. They were then told to go wherever they could within a 600 mile radius to “help” people and spread God’s word. I presume this is to prepare them for what they might experience in a different country with different cultures - This group of three luckily ended up in Belleville.
Tony, Sean and Becca showed up at our doorstep around 5:00 Monday night and immediately asked what they could “do” for me, to which I replied “Nothing”. I did give in and say they could help my son learn a song to which they readily agreed and grabbed a guitar from the car. For the next few hours they talked with played with my children, and then ate dinner with us all. I could tell though that they were expecting to “do” something, as Sean asked multiple times, so at dinner I told them why I didn’t need help; I told them that be being here I was able to teach a lesson to my children about helping others when you expect nothing in return. I wasn’t sure it would sink in for Zach, my son is certainly learning to be a gracious host and all, but I just didn’t know if he would get the entire concept. Someday possibly he would be able to reflect on it though...
On the way home from my moms though, is when the amazing happened. My son Zach said, “Mom I miss the kids? Will I see them again?” I told him that I didn’t know but said they were off helping people who needed help. “But mom, they didn’t help us.” Bing, bing, bing, he’d won the prize… “Well son, sometimes you help others even if you don’t get anything in return, you just help them because it is the right thing to do.” I couldn’t believe the opportunity had presented itself to discuss the events, with HIM opening the dialogue!
Moments like those are what being a mother is all about. Knowing that what I am teaching my children, often through example, is something they can hopefully understand and implement throughout their lives makes watching them grow and develop the most beautiful life experience for me!