To Be First, Be Willing to Go Last

“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:35-37)

This was the verse that came to mind when Jeni, an Allies volunteer, met the young residents of an orphanage in Moldova. It had taken some time before Jeni and her fellow volunteers, some of whom were once orphans themselves, were able to go to the village, but the wait was well worth it. By the Grace of God, she was reminded of just what service to others truly means.

“So often we want to do something great and big. We want to be special,” Jeni said. “But when we go back to the Bible and recall Christ’s words to His disciples, it is clear that serving the weak and the helpless entails willingness to put others before us. We must not run to be first in the race, but instead be last.”

With that in mind, the day’s activities revolved around creating joyful experiences and meaningful encounters for the children. The volunteers prepared indoor games and contests for everyone to participate in, after which they engaged in melodious fellowship by singing uplifting songs. Will, another regular volunteer, led the Bible lesson, emphasizing the importance of God’s Word and how His Truth gives us the wisdom and strength to overcome trials and resist temptation. Will also imparted that it is only through the Bible that we will come to answer the most important life questions: “Why am I here? How can I reconcile with God?”

The children eagerly took part in the activities and listened attentively to the discussion. Ten-year-old Rene, who recently came to the school orphanage, was happy to have met the volunteers and to have learned more about God from them.

“I liked everything we did,” Rene said. “We ran and jumped and laughed a lot, we sang songs and then we talked about God and prayed. Thank you so much for such an event.”

Indeed, when one puts others first, Christ’s love shines through. “We must serve with love, and not expect anything in return,” Jeni said. “Do not wish for anything except for God to be glorified. Pray and do it because of your love for Christ, because of Him and because of those whom you serve."



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