Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banja Luka Youth in Bosnia and their day of service...


In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Church welfare plan, the First Presidency invites members worldwide to render service to the poor and needy. The length of this service may be flexible depending on the service rendered and may be undertaken at any time during 2011.
September 24, was chosen by the youth of the Banja Luka, BiH Group and their missionary leaders, Elder and Sister Erickson, to remember and celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Churches Welfare plan. We began with a short lesson on how important it was to learn to serve. How serving others and our communities strengthen us as well as our neighborhoods. We discussed how The Lords welfare plans benefits those in need as it develops self-reliance for the recipients and it benefits those who serve by giving them an opportunity to look beyond themselves and think of others.

Our service project was to go into our neighborhood and pick up garbage along the road side. It was a beautiful morning for the project. Wearing gloves, and each carrying a garbage bag we started down the road. “I never thought that there was this much trash along this street” said one of our participants. As we progressed, several people stopped us and asked what we were doing. “oh, thank-you for cleaning our neighborhood” one lady told us. Another man, a soldier who was guarding a nearby army facility said something to our youth, but it was only after we completed our project that they translated what he said to the missionaries. He asked them what they had done wrong to be sentenced to picking up garbage. They told him they had done nothing wrong, that they were doing it as an act of service. He didn’t believe them and still insisted that they had done something wrong. It was at that point that the youth told us that in their country picking up garbage was only done by the really bad teenagers. As missionaries we just wanted to hug them for their willingness to serve and do what they had been asked to do, even though as it turned out, culturally, we had subjected them to be viewed as the worst of the worst instead of the best of the best! Never complaining and only telling us after the project was completed. Our youth are bright shining stars in our eyes, obedient and willing to serve as they strive to live and learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Vedrana, Victoria, Vanja and Valentina Tadic

No comments: