"It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving." -Mother Teresa


Last Thursday I experienced the difference love can make. For the tutoring ministry I am leading this year, I have a goal of making every child feel valued, loved, and special. One way I hope to reach this goal is by celebrating each child's birthday.

 It was Devany's 12th birthday last week. We had a simple celebration, but to me, it was more special than any other birthday party I had been to. Why was it so special? I would say because of the love that was so evident. It didn't matter what we did at the party, it mattered who we were with and why we were there. We gathered together to celebrate Devany because we love her.


"For it is in giving that we receive." -St. Francis of Assisi

We gave her a birthday party, and I received joy. It was one of those experiences where I felt like I was truly living. I am finding I experience inexpressible joy only when I am serving. I also feel closest to God in moments like these - I love God by loving his people.

She chose flan as her treat so we bought flan from the local grocery store (nowhere near Loma had some!). I made her a birthday card with the other tutors - we all wrote personal messages to her. Her tutor bought her a bracelet as a gift too. During tutoring, some of the other kids made her a necklace out of beads and some of the tutors made her a drawing. We gathered around and sang her happy birthday and ate flan together. Afterward, we played games outside and did crafts. We played a game where you blow up little balloons and put a message inside. One person pops the balloon and then has to act out what is on the piece of paper. For instance, it could say "chicken." They would then act it out and everyone else would have to guess what they were. Such a simple game, but so fun.

We asked Devany what she was doing for her birthday and she told us she didn't have any plans. I am so glad we were able to give her a birthday celebration she wouldn't have otherwise had. 

She took home some coloring pages to do and the leftover flan. Most importantly, she left with a huge smile on her face. I know she felt special and loved that day.

Thank You, Lord.

Check out this article in our school newspaper on my ministry:

http://blogs.pointloma.edu/thepointweekly/2010/09/20/new-leaders-and-new-insights-in-tutoring-ministries/weeblylink_new_window

I feel so BLESSED to be able to be a part of this ministry. Each week I am learning new things and finding even more joy.

This song is becoming a prayer in my life right now:

"Shape me with words of wisdom
Free my torn heart from this world
Renew my mind and form my will

Teach me to wholly offer
More than words that I can sing
So I become the song I bring"


"Can I be an instrument of praise
And here pursue your heart
So my life will tell of who you are

Can I be a channel of your love
A reflection of your light
And live to bring you praise and serve you, Lord"
 


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