We live in an age in which “service” is considered to be a foregone conclusion for preparing children to be productive members of society. The International Baccalaureate (IB) focuses on service learning “where classroom instruction is supported by activities to help the community.” Even within the ex-pat community there are ample ways to support charitable organizations and service. As a Christian school, what is service to us as a community?
Our goal at Yokohama Christian School is to educate the whole child and help them grow physically, academically, and spiritually. While service may indeed connect with academics, there is a deeper spiritual meaning to service that we hope our students come away with.
The Jesus that we follow, and attempt to emulate, was a servant leader. He not only recognized the needs of his followers, but often took action. Instead of sending people away to forage or purchase food, he took what was available and fed more than 5,000. (Matthew 14:13-21) He healed and worked miracles on people who were often the forgotten and cast aside members of his society. However, he came as a Savior for all. By looking at the example of Jesus, we hope to find opportunities to care for people in our community that are sometimes cast aside or forgotten. We are, after all, called to be His hands and feet on this earth.
In December, we were able to pair with the children’s home, Kohu Kodomoen, to collect Christmas presents for the children who reside there. It was the first time we had approached them to do such a thing. Although it was a little last minute, the YCS community took to heart this new service opportunity and more than filled the collection box with Christmas presents for these children.
Ms. Ayako, myself, and our daughters were able to deliver the presents to them shortly before Christmas. On the spur of the moment, we talked about the true meaning of Christmas to a small group of children. We asked the question “why do we celebrate Christmas?” and “what is Christmas?” One child knew that it is a celebration of Jesus’ birth.
We were able to share that Jesus is the reason we celebrate. That God loved this world so much that he gave us the best present in his son and that is why we celebrate with gifts – to share God’s love with all of them.
For YCS, service is a twofold undertaking of being the hands and feet of Christ on this earth and sharing the Good News. It is my prayer that we can increasingly serve in ways that support the community of Yokohama and bring Jesus’ light into as many places as possible.