Someone once said, “True happiness is when what you believe is the same as what you say and do.” The more one thinks about this the more it rings true, especially among Christians in the 21st century. So many books have been written on how to be happy and constantly new books reach the book shelves to again attempt solving this topic. Whenever I met with young adults, be it in North America or more recently in Australia I find them caught in pursuit of this very challenge. The difference between them and the previous generation is that they somehow understand it will not happen by accumulating as much as they can. They understand that competing with the Jones’s is chasing after the wind. A portrait of this is drawn so well by the Christian band “Casting Crowns” in a song about the American Dream… a dream that destroyed so many families and relationships between parents and their children.
Watching these young volunteers from the North as they work in the dust of Africa is something to behold. There is a common phrase Hands staff hear from them: “At last I am doing something that actually makes a difference and not just a profit!” What, I wonder to myself, could be more important for a parent for his child or for a pastor for his youth than for this newest generation to feel wanted and to realize they were created to be a blessing! Recently I sat in a meeting with a group of young people, among them a couple from US Peace Corps. We discussed the training of volunteers in our Footprints program and I expounded on the need to explain, through biblical teaching, to these volunteers the lost art of servant hood. The couple was so excited about this, saying they had been taught so many good things, but that they now recognized this was the missing piece: the call to serve!The call of Hands— to mobilize the local Church in Africa to care and to be a prophetic voice to the Church outside Africa—is burning in the hearts of the Hands team more than ever. It brings happiness to us as we believe it, we speak it and we do it!