As we began this week of thanking God for our school, we intentionally designed our celebration to start by focusing on our school motto, "Give Me Your Eyes". To accomplish this goal, we offered a "Family Mission Project" where families could come to school and work together to help those who are in need.
As a result, this building was buzzing with excitement last Sunday when 47 families gathered to assemble 400 lunches for the NOAH Project, a warming center for homeless people in Detroit.
On Monday, our 8th graders had the opportunity to travel to Central Methodist Church, the host site of the NOAH Project, and help distribute the lunches to its guests. Once the students arrived NOAH, they were put to work by packing additional snack bags and plating donated baked goods to accompany the lunches that we brought.
When the church opened its doors that morning to the community, our 8th graders had the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus by distributing lunches, serving beverages, and visiting with the guests.
As their principal, my heart was bursting with joy as I watched each of them diligently work and respectfully interact with the guests that arrived at NOAH that day. However, listed below are a few of the personal and powerful reflections that our students shared with me:
"What touched my heart was despite their circumstance, how joyful people were. When we asked a woman "How are you today? she replied, "Blessed." Her response really made me think about my life and my attitude when things don't go the way I want them to."
"Seeing how many people didn't have food and shelter was just so sad. But seeing little children in the line really broke my heart. It gave me joy to be able to help them."
"Yesterday opened my eyes because I had no idea there were that many people in need. The line was so long and people just kept coming in."
"I learned that everyone deserves love and respect no matter what they look like, what they are going through,
or how much money they have."
"It really made an impact on me how joyful and appreciative people were to receive a sandwich, even though they had been out in the rain and cold all morning."
"Yesterday was valuable to me because now instead of complaining to my mom about what's for dinner, I'll remember that some people aren't even going to have dinner."
"I realized I am very spoiled and I don't appreciate the life that I have. Yesterday was valuable because it changed my thoughts on situations and made me realize that when I don't get what I want, there are some people who don't even have what they need."
"God gave me the strength and the power to help the homeless. I've wanted to do this for so long!"
"I thought it was pretty cool that when people were in need, they knew to go to a church to find help."
"I found this experience valuable because I was able to see a group of people whose lives were nothing like mine. I had no idea who I would be serving, but I knew it was an opportunity to show God's love to many of God's children, and who are no less loved by our Father. I thought that God blessed our trip and gave us the chance to meet and serve others through God's eyes."
"Going to NOAH was a valuable experience that I will never forget."
At St. Matthew, we believe that Christ belongs in school because nothing is more important than your child's relationship with Jesus Christ. We place a high value on academics, social relationships, and emotional security, but your child's faith journey will have benefits that will last for eternity. At our school, your child's faith will be nurtured on a daily basis as we integrate Christ into all areas of curriculum. Even more exciting, we prioritize and encourage age-appropriate outreach opportunities, such as serving meals at NOAH, where we can guide and empower children to be active disciples living out their faith and helping those in need.
This week, as we celebrate Lutheran Schools Week, we thank and praise our school families, our staff, our congregation, and our Lord for their support of Christian education.
To God be the glory!