By: Junita Henry
Reaching out to those in need, something we all would like to do…but somehow, it always ends up at the bottom of the priority list and we just don’t have the time.
Two Sunday’s ago, I tagged along on an outreach to Little Julie’s Day Care Centre in Olievenhoutbosch, although it is on the more up market side of the area, a less fortunate orphanage was invited to join. This experience taught me so much and although I had to give up something very valuable amidst my busy schedule time, every second was worthwhile!
Yes, a Sunday…I know this is probably the day you spend with family, recovering from a babalaas or catching up on assignments due the next day, but I challenged myself to sacrifice a mere three hours to spend time with these underprivileged kids, and the smiles they gave, as cheesy as it sounds gave me much more than spending three hours on myself could have ever done.
The day activities were simple, sweet and short, but the impact it had been powerful. Upon our arrival we sang two kiddies praise and worship songs followed by a gospel message using iodine and bleach delivered by a grade 10 learner. We then proceeded to feed the kids handing out hot dogs and juice. After this, we had the opportunity to bond and just spend quality time with them; each person was left to do what they felt comfortable with, playing games, talking or face painting with the kids. After about and hour, we gave out stationary boxes to each child along with a cupcake and bid our farewells.
Some might say that the ‘outreach’ was the giving of the food, cupcakes and stationary boxes, but for me the real reaching out was in getting to know the kids. Adapting to each, finding out what makes them laugh, what they aspire to do or their favourite things, just showing a general interest in them made them happy. Sure, they are in need of these physical things but fulfilling the spiritual and social needs of someone is far greater than money or a simple donation could ever buy.
In today’s society, time is money; time is of the essence, tick-tock hurry up! Speaking from personal experience…I often brushed aside the needs of others, in an attempt to quickly do what I needed to get done, but ever since I’ve started to actively get involved with outreach I’ve developed a more open mind. I am able to see beyond myself and the little world that used to revolve around me. The social need of humanity is heartbreaking!
Of course sacrifice is harder, but that’s what makes it more valuable. So while people may be encouraging you to donate money or clothes to someone, that’s great too, but I challenge you to invest emotionally in someone’s life, even if it’s just the weird guy in you class as a start, the impact you’d have is so much bigger than yourself and ten times more rewarding.