06/23/09 — Youths' example: Local group decides to put its effort into its community

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Youths' example: Local group decides to put its effort into its community

OK, enough bad news for one day.

Let's talk about a group of young people who are putting their shoulders to the grindstone in an effort to make their community a better place to live.

The Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Protestant Youth Ministry is not heading overseas for its round of mission work this year -- or even to another state.

This group of young people and their adult advisers are getting their hands dirty right here in Wayne County instead.

And they are finding plenty to keep them busy -- and are even willing to consider doing even more.

The young people are doing everything from car washing to other odd jobs that need doing -- and they are even helping with the vacation Bible school at the base.

They have some partners, too. Students from Marietta, Ga., are here this week to lend a hand -- their mission trip for the summer.

The idea, of course, is to teach these young people that their work really does not have to be in exotic locales with complete strangers. It is to show them that the best mission fields might be right outside their doors.

And the students' efforts offer a bit of a lesson for the rest of us, too.

Sometimes in our zeal to handle the day-to-day struggles of life, we forget that serving our faith means more than simply sitting in a pew each week. We want to help others and intend to do good works once we get home, but stress, jobs and other distractions get in the way.

The SJAFB youth group members are not the only ones who could offer up a couple of hours to assist their neighbors. Even the smallest of gestures can make someone's day -- and make this community a better place.

So, why don't a few of us adults follow their example. The act does not have to be huge or make the paper. All it has to be is a kind word, a chore for a neighbor or picking up a piece of litter that is cluttering the county. It is amazing how much of a difference a little act of kindness makes.

And once again, we should be proud, our young people showed us the way.

Published in Editorials on June 23, 2009 10:39 AM