This November, the RAs and GAs at my church played very important roles in a churchwide missions effort centered on Thanksgiving. For weeks, our church collected specific Thanksgiving-type grocery items for our neighbors in one of our state’s poorest counties. Then, last week, deserving families received grocery bags filled with canned sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing mix, pie filling, pie crust mix, and even a gift certificate for a turkey—all the essentials for an entire Thanksgiving meal!
RAs contributed to the cause each week by collecting the food items from various drop-off locations around the church and then organizing them in the central distribution area. GAs decorated brown grocery bags with beautiful pictures, stickers, fall-shaped die-cuts, Scripture verses, and words of encouragement. Everyone helped with packing the bags and loading them into the church vans for delivery.
Directly involving children in this missions project was a great way to teach them what Thanksgiving is all about. Not only is it a time of thanks, but it’s also a time for giving. Sometimes I think it is easy to get caught up in listing all the things for which we are thankful without much emphasis on the giving part.
However, giving with no expectation of getting anything in return is the greatest act of sharing God’s love. After all, isn’t that what God did for us when He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross in order that we might live forever?
This Thanksgiving, give thanks for God’s grace that was poured out for us through Jesus Christ and will lead us all the way to eternity. Look for ways to get out of our comfort zones and serve others by sharing God’s love. In doing so, we can truly experience real gratitude and give God the thanksgiving that He deserves.
Melissa Whetstone is the design editor for Girls in Action.
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