I was in Uganda recently working with our ministry partners and helping to encourage and equip pastors for continued ministry and outreach. During my two weeks in the country, I was able to develop a friendship with a young man that worked where I was staying during my visit.
One day, this young man came to me with a little book and asked me if I would take a look at it. I opened this small booklet and noticed the title he had placed on it – My Dreams. Page after page was filled with detailed life goals and dreams that this young man had for himself and his country.
Then he told me something that was very sobering—he made this statement, “I like you people.” Not referring to “white Americans,” but referring to our Reach Youth Global team. You see, over the years he has seen the work that is being done there in his village and the impact that RYG is having on individual lives and communities.
I asked him, “Why do you like us?” It was his response that sounded loud in my heart and soul. He told me that he liked us because we live our lives for other people. He went on to tell me that, as could be seen in his dream book, he wanted to live a life like that—one that made a difference in someone else’s life.
His eyes moistened as he continued to speak. “You see my father only lived for himself. He did not even live for me. Therefore, today, I can only live for me. I desire to be able to live for someone else, but because my father did not, I am forced to live for me. But someday, I would like to be like you and live for others.”
In light of the truth that this young man shared with me, Thanksgiving now takes on a new meaning and perspective for me. If I am thankful for what has been done for me, then I will give of myself, so that others too might experience the difference that God’s love can make in their lives as well.
My heart and mind go to my Heavenly Father who gave His only begotten Son, because He loves us so. And His Son, Jesus Christ lived and died for me, giving me a better life. It is because of this new life in Christ that I have anything at all to share with others that could make a difference.
So I challenge you to live for others, to give of yourself, your talents and your resources to help others. If you are thankful this season – give. Let’s all be thankful givers, to see lives transformed from the inside out.