Then I looked at him; touched his head and answered him, “sometimes God does things that we don’t understand, but he has a purpose for every difficult situation…and what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be a doctor or maybe an engineer, but first I need to get better. But Jesus can heal me, right?
“Yes, if you believe that he can.”
“I read in the bible about a woman who touched Jesus and she was healed, I would like to touch him and get healed, but I don’t know where he is…and you guys, why did you come here?” asked the kid.
“Because God sent us to make you laugh and to tell you that he loves you and also to tell you that he will always be near to you.”
This was a conversation that I had in the hospital with a kid that suffered with cancer. When I arrived, he had an illustrated bible, his bright eyes shining and excited to see balloons and hand colored cards, with a smile on his face as if he was the happiest person in the world.
Listening to every story of each kid and their dreams made me think that they have a lot that they can teach us; they still keep dreaming and trusting in God despite their situation. His question about why we were visiting places like hospitals, orphanages, or children’s’ centers made me stop and think. The simple answer would be that we were there to demonstrate God’s love, to make them laugh for a moment and impact their life. But looking back, it was more than that; it was because we wanted to serve them, and that made me think about us, and the love God has for us. He sent his son Christ to a sick world; to a broken world, to demonstrate his love for us, and to save us and give his life for us, taking our sickness and suffering to the cross. He came to be the best leader in history because he came to serve and impact our world, the same reason we go on these trips: we go to serve.
What does it mean to serve? To serve is to give without receiving, it’s helping, it’s smiling, it’s giving a hug, it’s cleaning up a dirty plate, it’s picking up trash, it’s praying for someone. To serve is not to ask ourselves, what happens to me if I help? on the contrary, it’s asking ourselves, what would happen to them if I didn’t help? Sometimes the small acts of service are the ones that leave the biggest mark and make the biggest difference in this world; like Jesus, who came to teach us that the best leader is not the one that thinks the best, but the one who serves others.
Serve was one of the words used most on this trip and at the end, each of us understood the meaning of this word a little better because of the smiling faces of the children we met, through their hugs as we left, and the memory of their stories. We all understand that serving is being the hands and feet of Jesus; it’s to have the heart of Christ.
It’s impossible to be happy without serving others.
Kevin Membreño -Volunteer