by Lisa Haugen
A couple months ago Containers of Hope had Rol Esslinger come speak to our students in chapel to share his vision, passion and care for the children of Liberia. It was a message that moved several of our students to look outside of themselves and look to the needs of others. In a “me first” society it is often hard to move past our own needs and challenge ourselves to put the needs of others in front of all else. My bible class had a great discussion on how we are affected by a “me first” society and what it would look like for us to heed God’s command to help others.
James 1:27 states, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
My students took this verse to heart and put it into action. Rol shared how Containers of Hope was unable to go to Liberia with backpacks this year, but instead was raising money to feed and water the children that come into the Lord’s Prayer Orphanage and school. Together, with Max Gallo and David Hemmerling leading the way, my class wanted to raise money to give to that project. We wanted to see the children in Liberia have their physical needs, as well as their spiritual needs, met. “Change for Change” was then birthed out of the desire to help. The class would collect change and challenge the other homerooms to do the same. Both David and Max stated that they “wanted to make a difference and inspire people to help others.” They encouraged the school to give with a goal of $500, hoping that would feed many children.
After three weeks of collecting, we far exceeded that goal and raised $1000 for Containers of Hope. Our students and staff at Friends Christian Middle School stepped up and followed Max and David’s lead to help the Lord’s Prayer Orphanage. Max stated, “I hope I inspired many to be different and help others.” I believe that my class did just that. They looked outside of their world here in Yorba Linda, looked to the needs of children a world away, and were encouraged in their faith as they watched the change come in.