Make Me a Servant! - 8th Grade Serves at NOAH Project

"Whatever you do for the least of these, you've done unto Me." Matthew 25:40

This week, it gives us great joy as we thank and praise God for our school during "National Lutheran Schools Week". However, we intentionally designed the beginning of this celebration by putting the initial focus on Kingdom work.  As a result, 140 children and parents gathered last Sunday to assemble 300 lunches for the NOAH Project, a homeless shelter located in downtown Detroit. The evening was filled with much excitement as passionate disciples gathered together to help those in need.
Early Monday morning, the eighth graders had the amazing opportunity to take the lunches to NOAH and assist with their meal preparation and distribution. As their principal, I was so incredibly proud of this group of students as I watched them distribute lunches, serve coffee, and engage in kind conversations.
When we returned and debriefed, it was even more powerful to hear their reflections and reactions.
Listed below are just a few of our young disciples' responses:

  •     I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, and I was a little shocked at the need when we arrived, but I am so glad that we went.
  •     I liked this activity because we could actually talk and interact with the people that we were serving. I just kept smiling and telling everyone that I hope they had a wonderful day.
  •     This event taught me that I should be more thankful for what I have and that God loves each of us no matter your wealth, circumstances, or looks.
  •     It made me so happy when people would smile and say, "God bless you" when I gave them a sandwich.
  •     This activity really helped me understand that everyone, no matter what, is still a child of God, and He loves each of us the same.
  •     The thing that made it worthwhile was the smile on people's faces when I handed them some coffee or a sandwich.
  •     This showed me that sometimes, the littlest things, like a bagged lunch, can bring great joy and make a big impact.
  •     After this experience, I will look at people with different eyes and try not to judge others because you really don't know or understand their circumstances.
  •     This event allowed me to be a servant and serve others.
  •     We really wanted to make a difference, and I believe we accomplished this goal by the smiles that were on faces and people saying, "Thank you" and "God bless you" as we left.
  •     If I could, I would volunteer every month!

As we celebrate Lutheran Schools Week, we want to thank God for the opportunities that He provides where we can equip and train our students to put their faith into action. A dear friend of mine, who once served as an Assistant Fire Chief, gave the following analogy for why he sent his children to a Christian school: "We never send a young firefighter into a dangerous situation without the proper training that will protect and keep him/her safe. This school serves as the training ground, where the staff can partner with parents to equip and prepare young disciples before they entered into a dangerous world."
As we conclude this week of celebration, we want to thank all of our parents for entrusting us with your most precious gifts. We are honored that you have selected our school, and we consider ourselves blessed to have your family as a part of our school culture.  
To God be the Glory!
In Jesus,
Mrs. Palka and the Staff of St. Matthew Lutheran School

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