Last summer I had the privilege of meeting a sweet young girl who moved in next door. It was exciting to learn that she was part of our faith community and that we had several mutual friends. She is a fourth-grade teacher, and I knew she would be a positive influence on my grandchildren.
I watched with admiration as she packed up—just a few days after moving in—to head to Uganda for three weeks to help teachers there learn how to become better teachers. It was her second trip to that part of the world, and she was thrilled to be used by God in that way. Then, six months later, off she went to India to minister to children in an orphanage there. This was her second trip to that region of the world as well.
My five-year-old granddaughter was impressed by this kind of dedication to serving others and asked this young woman to come to her school for share day. She told her class, “I want to be just like her when I grow up—I want to go around the world and tell people how much Jesus loves them!”
Recently I was talking with this young woman about her heart for serving, and she shared an interesting story. She said that one of the first times she saw service in action was in the life of her grandparents. She explained that her grandfather was a policeman with the Los Angeles Police Department for many years. She said that both he and her grandmother had a heart for people with service jobs. She then told me that they keep an ice chest on their front porch with a sign that reads “Thank you for your service.” It contains an apple, a water bottle, and nuts for the mail carrier. Her grandmother is daily on the lookout for one particular carrier who she knows loves chocolate, and she makes sure to add some chocolate to the ice chest when she sees this mail carrier coming.
My neighbor continued to explain that as a child, she and her siblings loved waiting for mail carriers to arrive so they could hand the water and snacks directly to them. This act of service has gone on for almost 20 years, and as small as it may seem, it truly influenced and affected her life. Her grandparents are now almost 90 years old and have been married for 67 years—and they continue to look for ways to serve those who serve them!
What if we as grandparents modeled serving to our grandchildren? It’s never too late to start. What if we found small ways to show them what Paul writes in Philippians 2:3–4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Our grandchildren have the ability to become worldchangers—and it can start with something as simple as water given to the mail carrier!