Laura Perry - Grade 8, Homeschool
A Hope Filled Ark
"So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12
A few years ago, I felt God calling me to do something amazing. Noah built his ark, now I was supposed to build mine. A few months before Christmas, I felt the calling to purchase an "ark" of animals for needy people around the world. The cost of such a feat: $5,000. Being a big optimist, I knew it could be done.
"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will never wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." Luke 12:33
Taking this verse to heart, my mom, grandma, aunt and I made hundreds of handmade gifts and sold them at church, a craft show, even on Facebook. People were really interested in buying our crafts and I was feeling excited about how many people I was going to help. That motivated me to keep going.
I didn't do it for people to think I was a good person, I did it because people needed my help. I didn't object to having an article published in the newspaper about it, though. Some of the people who read the article purchased handmade goods, sent me letters, donated money, or even just checked out our Facebook page.
"The king will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40
People donated so much, we raised more than $5,300. We purchased cows, donkeys, sheep, goats, chicks, fruit trees and fish ponds for families around the world. We purchased the animals through Samaritan's Purse, an organization that does their best to follow God's command to help people in need. They help build hospitals, help in disaster areas, and of course, purchase animals for people in need. We helped so many people have hope for the future.
I used my personal strengths: optimism, creativity and my big ideas to help people. Optimism to believe I could raise all $5000, creativity to think of ways to make the money and the whole thing was definitely a big idea. God gave me a mission that matched my strengths, because it would help me and the people who received animals.
Before my ark project, I thought God could use me for something big, but He probably wouldn't. I learned that He will use you, just maybe not in the way you expect. I learned I can do more than I thought and that I can make a difference. I helped lots of families send their kids to school, have enough food, and take care of their families. They will even have enough to share. Just think, it all started by looking at a catalog and following God's plan.