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Appreciation, Gratitude, Happiness

October 21, 2014

On Sunday I asked our missionaries to help me with the sermon. I wanted to give everyone a chance to share a story from our trip; something they learned, when they felt God, or how they were transformed. Here is what Sahadi, our youngest missionary, shared in worship. With her permission, I now share it with you…

Sahadi dancing with one of the village kids at our fiesta.

Sahadi dancing with one of the village kids at our fiesta.

“You’ve never lived until you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you” (John Bunyan).

And I repeat, NEVER. The villagers we served this week will never be able to repay us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The fact that I had the opportunity to partake in the improvement of the lifestyle of others sparked fire in my heart. The families were so appreciative. They didn’t have much, yet they had everything. They had each other. They had their joy. They had a peace of mind. These are the things that matter the most in life.

The villagers helped one another. Even if they didn’t live at the house being worked on they still extended their services. That’s the true definition of a community, a union. Five-year-olds helping hand cinder blocks to the men building the latrines showed how mentally and physically strong they are. Other children gathering water for the cement shows how determined they are to get things accomplished. And what really moved me was the fact that nobody sent them, they weren’t forced; this is what they wanted to do to help. I loved seeing that. The people of the Village weren’t looking for handouts. We all worked side by side to get the job done. Although our languages contrasted somehow we had the ability to communicate and share universal comedy.

The children at VBS trying out their animal masks.

The children at VBS trying out their animal masks.

I now appreciate everything and everybody I have in my life more than ever before. My family and I hoard and that’s a habit I’m ready to filter out of our lives. Not only physically hoarding but mentally as well. Our superfluous objects in our home and thoughts in our mind need to be filtered out. None of these things matter. We’re healthy and have everything we NEED and want. And anybody else carrying around unnecessary physical and mental baggage, I’m here to tell you your problems aren’t that deep. The things we stress about don’t really matter. You can and will overcome. Remember to put on your spiritual armor and have faith.

The abundance of connections made this week were like no other. Seeing the villagers happy made me happy and humble. They were all great. They gave me so much life and multiple breaths of fresh air. They taught me any and everything is possible and I’m super grateful I met them. Those people will always be in my heart. They’re family. I love helping people and it was a blessing to serve them and God in a way I’ve never done before. I want to thank everybody here who sent me letters while on the trip. They were comforting and they motivated me each and everyday. I want you all to know you were in my heart this week. Thank you.–Sahadi

Sahadi and Linda hanging out with their family at the worksite.

Sahadi and Linda hanging out with their family at the worksite.

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