June 3, 2013

The Gift of Hope

School Kits Contents
Contents of One School Kit

As originally posted on Confessions of Hope
http://rontrimmer.blogspot.com/

by Ron Trimmer

The gift of hope can come in many forms: laughter from a child, the freshness of a sunrise, the hug of a loved one.  It can be as common as a smile and as rare as true forgiveness.  Sometimes, like grace, we receive hope through no actions of our own, and at other times we even get to take part, offering hope to one another.

Yesterday, I gave the gift of hope, hope for a child, hope for a better world, hope for the Kingdom.  And in so doing, my hope was rekindled.  And such a simple thing … the gift of a school kit.

I have always been impressed with the work of Church World Service, from their assistance during times of disaster, both locally and around the world, to their mission to end hunger, to helping the least of these.

Many of our churches partner with Church World Service to end poverty and give hope.  From CROP Hunger Walks, to school kits and hygiene kits, to their blanket program, to buying chicks, rabbits, andlivestock, to the teaching of sustainable farming techniques, to the building of water wells, the Church World Service is Christ to the world, offering life to the least of these.

It's annual meeting time for the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ, and every year, they collect school kits as a mission project.  These school kits will go to children around the world, in places of need and after times of disaster.  Some are likely being delivered to Moore, Oklahoma this very moment to give children the tools they need to receive the blessing of education and the chance to better their lives.

As the son of two educators, I strongly value education.  About 40 years ago, my father worked with a pilot program called Upward Bound to help disenfranchised kids in East St. Louis learn and grow, equipping them with the gift of education and helping them leave the trappings of poverty behind.  And it works.  It really works.  Education is a door that leads to a better life, and for the poor, it maybe their only chance to improve their way of life.  Click here to watch a short video from Church World Service about helping ethnic Roma children escape poverty.   

In some small, yet very significant way, the gift of a school kit helps a child to learn, spreading Christ’s love and the tender gift of hope.

Boy with notebook

I was doubly blessed to have the help of my children.  We put together 20 school kits as part of our mission outreach of Hope UnitedClick here to learn how you can put together a CWS School Kit.

Although Aaron is still a little young to understand, I give thanks to God that Ben has such a tender heart, who really wants to help people.  At night time, he often prays for “the poor,” especially “Eddie,” a homeless man we met who lives under the overpass at Mopac and Wells Branch Parkway.

May you know the gift of hope this day, and may you offer hope to another.

And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.
-John 15:16b

Ron Trimmer is pastor of Hope United, a new church in Georgetown, Texas.  Click here to visit Hope United's website.