Jan 09, 2017
Twenty-seven Syrian refugee students from the Adventist Learning Center (ALC) in Beirut, Lebanon piled into a tiny rented bus for the one and a half hour to north Lebanon to deliver sacks of clothing and some donated foods.
This annual project started as a simple assignment for the Adventist Learning Center to express gratitude for the donations and support it receives from around the world. For example, the refugee children of ACL have been given winter jackets and rain boots.
Every Christmas the center gives a child a shoebox full of useful things. This Christmas, the students were issued a challenge to find a project that helps someone else.
“Each of our students has their story of loss and trauma, but despite their past, they can learn to reach out and bless others as well,” said Alexis Hurd-Shires, director of Adventist Learning Center.
Hurd-Shires said even though many of these kids come from homes that lack proper doors, windows, and walls, where their parents don’t have jobs, and families who don’t know how they’re going to pay the rent or put food on the table, they were diligent in their task.
Asking friends and neighbors, and even digging in the donations they personally received, the students collected clothes and shoes bag-by-bag. As a result, they collected more than 30 large black trash sacks of goods.
This gesture of self-sacrifice from the refugee children touched church leaders.
“Sometimes I am struck with how many times we share what we have at no sacrifice, but others share what they need at great sacrifice,” said Rick McEdward, president of Middle East and North Africa Union.