Inspiring. Challenging. Life Changing—words that speak most eloquently of our experience as a youth group. Determined to make a difference, 20 young people from Seddon church (Victoria), led by Pastor Boris Soldat, decided to give up their summer holidays to do something worthwhile. Armed with work boots, vaccination shots, validated passports and a positive attitude, we embarked on an 8000 kilometre journey of love. In Chiang Mai, Thailand, we met up with 180 young people from across Australia and New Zealand with the goal of building 32 houses in just over two weeks.
There are some things money can’t buy, and one of them was the inner peace and satisfaction of knowing your small contribution has made a difference.
Destitution. Poverty. Hopelessness—That is the shocking reality check we were confronted with on the International Children’s Care Big Build. More than your average fly’n’build, this amazing force of young people built houses, dug wells, constructed dormitories, ploughed water pipelines, provided medical care and played with local children. There are some things money can’t buy, and one of them was the inner peace and satisfaction of knowing your small contribution has made a difference. Then there are the smiles of a destitute child sleeping in a house with a real roof for the first time, knowing that somebody out there knows, cares and loves.
Volunteers from Seddon church (Victoria) at the International Children’s Care Big Build site in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Stunned. Moved. Speechless—Coming back from this life-changing experience, we decided to share our testimonies with our congregation. Through a panel discussion we spoke, challenged, laughed and cried, giving a voice to the voiceless. Moved by the call of the apostle John—“but if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”—our congregation was stirred to move from words into action, raising close to $A10,000 in donations, sponsorships and pledges. And so we lift our voices in a chorus of need, challenging each person reading to step out in faith, make a pledge, take on a sponsorship, find a cause and support it wholeheartedly. Help us end world poverty. God is still searching for the modern day good samaritans. When you see the need, don’t pass by. Stop. Look. Act.
Faith. Hope. Love. What life’s all about. But the greatest of these is love.
Daniella Fezer is a business owner and mother of two from Seddon church, Vic.