Living To Serve Others
Why They Come...
In America, people have a reputation for caring about others. They generously help those in need. I have lived my entire life here and was taught from a young age to give back. Is this the standard around the world?
In Our Daily Bread, the Christian inspirational publication, I read about a child named Chelsea who received an art set at age ten. Painting helped her negotiate sadness through creativity. She realized what a joy these supplies were to her and got the idea that other children could enjoy art supplies also. When her birthday approached, Chelsea asked guests to bring art supplies rather than gifts and create art supply boxes for needy children.
This sparked Chelsea's Charity, an international outreach to children from the love and joy of service to others. The Bible scripture shared in this story written by Xochitl Dixon points to 1 Peter 4:10. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. What a winning formula for problem-solving in multiple arenas.
We hear and read devastating accounts of homelands falling apart before our eyes in daily news broadcasts. People are fleeing and countries are building borders to keep them out. Some say, “where is the compassion?” Those wealthy nations should open their arms to those in need. Others say, “how can we serve all when God gives them also the ability to overcome in times of difficulty if they trust in Him?”
I see that when citizens open their hands and arms in their own country to serve each other, they put citizens before wealth and ensure that the least of them are valued. Then the need to run away from home will be replaced by refurbished homelands with plenty.
What about ME? How natural to look outside of self for solutions. The world is too large for me to fix anything. And those who try are sometimes mowed down. No, best I move on and take my chances where life is calmer. Today in the news, I read about a young gang leader in Haiti demanding 17 million dollars for the ransom of 17 American and one Canadian missionary. Atrocious and cruel beyond belief, all would agree, corruption and despair in the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Weeks ago, thousands of Haitians were rounded up at the Texas border and dropped off in Haiti. Many in Chile are deciding if they will attempt to get to America. In another news article, I read that Mexican cartels are branching out to kidnapping migrants. No win, as so many perish in route to the perceived promised land.
They come because decades of success stories flow back home to inspire success in America. Hope in America makes it worth the hardship once they decide to give up on their homeland. I cannot imagine what this level of desperation feels like. We are only powerless individuals. Right?
Then I had another thought. Many of us know immigrants who have come and earned the good life that America offers those who will try. It is the American Dream. That makes us smile. As stated above, America flows with decent people willing to help those in need. They enable people to come rather than trust God to empower them at home. What is left at home when the brightest, best, most ambitious and educated leave? What promises have not been fulfilled at home when individuals state by behavior that they are more than the sum of homeland wellbeing and needs. They may send money back but they give their talents and gifts to the new land, not home.
What could the intelligent and ambitious young man leading the gang of kidnappers be if Haitians had invested in their homeland over the last 30 years rather than fleeing? What if they had demanded that America and other predatory nations released claims on their lands, resources and governance to respect homeland desires? Rather than attend universities in Mexico and America, what if they had built institutions? Are they agreeing with those who repute them as “unable” to rule themselves? People blessed with a homeland must claim how God sees them, rather than what the world reputes about them.