Outpouring of Kindness
Painting a mural. Braiding hair. Dancing. We know that God uses miracles, but after this summer many LCA students can personally testify that God uses even the simplest circumstances to bring people together and change lives. Over the course of summer vacation, students of all grades left the safety of their homes and jumped headfirst into the unknown to share God’s love across the globe. Even unusual foods, seventeen-hour flights, and receiving multiple shots could not deter them from their goal. Despite their resolve and careful preparation, no one could have prepared them for what God had in store.
Although their mission trip locations ranged from Jamaica to Cambodia and ministered to people groups of varying ages and ethnicities, LCA students were impacted by a common theme everywhere they went: kindness.
Grace Carnefix (junior) was a member of a week-long mission trip to South Africa ministering to young children through Bible camps. Throughout her trip she stated she was most in awe of the outpouring of kindness that met her there;
“All through the trip, the word kindness was a really big deal to me. Seeing how the kids responded to even the smallest bit of kindness with love was really beautiful to see. It was like you do one little thing for them like a high five and they’re stuck to you the rest of the day. Or even just attempting to say their names (most of them were in Zulu so they were pretty hard to say) and asking them what they enjoy doing really opened the doors to new friendships and trust” -Grace Carnefix
During the week, Grace was able to establish an especially intimate bond with the children through an unusual tool: her own appearance. She later recalled,
“My complexion is darker than all of the people I was on the trip with, so they [the kids] were always asking what I was and touching my hair. They would say over and over again how beautiful my hair was and I saw this as a chance to share Jesus with them. I had learned earlier in the week that they were never really taught that they’re beautiful, so as I went on during the week I made it a point to tell them they were also beautiful and didn’t need my hair for Jesus to love them because they were made in the image of God” -Grace Carnefix
Although she didn’t know it at the time, over six thousand miles away, Izzy Anderson (junior) was also being astounded by the kindness and generosity of the people she was ministering to in Cambodia. She reflected,
“The church there is amazing. They are together all the time and sang songs together, danced together, and loved each other so much. I think the most obvious thing about the church there was the kindness they showed everyone, even though we couldn’t all speak the same language” -Izzy Anderson
Her trip included painting a mural for a children’s school wall, working with a local church, and simply spending time with the people. When asked about the most meaningful part of her time there, Izzy answered,
“Whatever happened and whatever we did, the people of Cambodia were always so positive and grateful. Since their pace of life is slower and more simple I think it gives them different eyes to see the world. Eyes to see it in a way that we don’t because of all the distractions we let get in our way” -Izzy Anderson
Different continents and varying people groups, but a common theme of overwhelming kindness is evident throughout every mission trip. This summer God used students’ willingness to step out to impact lives all over the world and proved that even the most unlikely circumstances or qualities can still be used to establish relationships and further spread His love to others.
*Photo Credit: Whapham and Thomas Williams