Important Life Lessons: Service and Teamwork

Matthew 25: 35-40

"'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

The King will reply 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"

Hear What Our Students Said: 

“…It also has inspired me to help others. Maybe I will help others in my church’s pantry”
“We really worked together to make a difference. It was the work of God. I felt like Jesus helping the needy. Thank you for giving me this opportunity”
“Today’s experience at the food bank was amazing. As we were loading the oats into the bags, it made me happy knowing that the meals we were putting together were going to people who really need it…It felt great to make a difference. We worked for an hour and a half and ended up making 4153 meals. It was amazing to help out at the food bank and I would like to help again soon.”
“It inspired me to also make a difference. Someday I want to be part of something like this operation. I want to make an impact on people like the community service center does and to be able to see people become so happy because I helped give them a better life.”
“This taught me that helping others is very important. The church tries to help others too. When driving back I thought of all of the hungry people that I helped.  A nice lady told us that I helped about 69 people.  I reflected on how Jesus has helped others.  This has made me feel joy of helping others.”

Oregon has one of the highest food insecurity rates in the United States. When we look at the data, one in five Oregonians faces food insecurity, the inability to get enough affordable, nutritious food, on a daily basis. 

One in five. 

On February 15th, Tualatin Valley Academy's 7th-9th grade students were joined by Scappoose Adventist Christian School's students to work at the Oregon Food Bank. They spent an hour and a half packing oats to be distributed to people in need. It was an exercise in teamwork, as packing food at the food bank works something like a well-oiled assembly line, but it also opened students' eyes to what they themselves can do to serve others, just like Jesus did. 

During their shift, students packed 4 pallets of oats into 2 lb bags. They packaged 4983 lbs of oats in total, which is the equivalent of about 4153 meals or 69 meals per student. 

Students were amazed that a hour and a half of their time produced 4153 meals for people in need.

That afternoon the students headed over to Beaverton Seventh-day Adventist Church to continue the day of service and teamwork. Students were broken up into 5 groups, each captained by 9th grade students, and rotated through stations. The first station was the church's community center. Students learned about the local and global (ADRA) Adventist mission. The second station gave students the opportunity to journal about their experience, reflecting on what they learned and how they felt about the morning's activities. The remaining 3 stations were team building stations. Students did activities ranging from turning a tarp over with the entire group standing on it to building newspaper tables to support as many books as possible to doing a trust walk.

It was a fun day, and one full of learning and reflection. Students gained valuable life skills, and the experience is one they will not soon forget.