Lead by Example

Today's featured blogger is Austin Paterson. He is 16 years old and a member of the After Sunday Project.

We arrived yesterday after a long car ride that went by real quick thanks to two of my new friends, Morgan and Leah. When we arrived, we immediately put up all of our stuff and spent the rest of the day hanging out and getting to know each other. I have completely fallen in love with every one of my fellow mission trippers.

This morning, after finally dragging myself out of bed, we got to meet our buddies. I got the pleasure of getting Ian and JJ. JJ is kind of like a class clown. He is very funny and can make everyone laugh, but he is also a very good kid. Ian is like a little genius. I played a game of chess with him and he nearly had me beat until someone knocked down our board.I really enjoyed working with both of them, and I am looking forward to spending the week with them. The funniest thing that happened when the kids were here was when the leader called Morgan's name and JJ said, "Morgan Schmorgan."

For our Urban Experience today, we went and gave out water and talked to the homeless.
One thing that really spoke to me and touched my heart was when we said we had water and a little boy jumped up and cheered as if it were Christmas morning. Seeing someone get so excited about water made me really realize and appreciate everything I have. If I suddenly had to start living in poverty, I don't know how I would adjust. I am so used to having large portions of food and air conditioning, television, and so many more non-essential luxuries. I am so blessed to have what I have. I believe God has called me and my friends here to really reach out to people, share our faith, and God's love. I think that in being here and serving others, we are all growing up and learning so much. We need to show these kids what it means to be a Christian.

Colossians 3:12-17 says, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have with one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him."

These are the traits we need to show and teach the kids, and lead by example.