Serving others is a real gift. It is a practice that invites community and builds relationship. When we give of ourselves unconditionally in the act of service to another, we receive so much in return. This is especially true when the giving occurs in a way that takes us outside of our comfort.
Giving our time, energy, resources, and emotional connections – it’s a simple act. It means we create a space of hospitality and we invite another into that space. Pretty simple. No, not true. Service is so much more than giving. Its also about receiving. And this act of making ourselves open to another feels so vulnerable. Yet, the vulnerability is where the true power of service resides.
Today, the boys and staff from the Casa Girasoles in Ica are going to an impoverished school in a community not far from the home. The community is similar to the sort of place where many of our boys are from – poor, under-resourced, and isolated. It's a lonely place. The boys are going to the school to put on a Christmas party. They’re brining gifts and food. They’ve planned a small work project they can do together to benefit the school. The boys even have activities and games.
The Girasoles boys know this community. They know the adults of this community will recognize them. No, not individually – but they know they’re recognizable as street children . . . as abandoned boys. Rather than feel intimidated or scared that people will treat them poorly, we’ve prepared the boys for this activity by talking about the power of service. We’ve talked with them about learning from the vulnerability. We’ve talked with them about inviting and embracing the new relationships. We’ve assured them we will be with them.
Serving others is a real gift. It’s a way for us to grow in a relationship with others. This holiday season we are very thankful for the many supporters that allow HBI to be in service to others. We are thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow in service to humanity – together.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.