Kids on a Mission

Author: Desma Lansiquot
June 14, 2018

When our family moved to the Washington DC area from Port St. Lucie, Florida, my son, Caiden, immediately noticed a stark difference between the two locations, primarily the large number of poor and homeless people in the DC area.  For a six year old, it seemed to be an oxymoron, an irreconcilable, unresolvable issue.  How could so many people be in such dire, desperate need in our nation’s capital, sometimes just steps from the White House.  “Can the President do anything to help them?” he would ask.  “Can we do anything to help?” he often asked.  “Sure,” I would say.  So every time we passed a homeless person with their sign asking for help, my son would look for anything we had that we could share - an apple, a banana, a granola bar, whatever he had, and excitedly offered it to them.  Now with little sis, Aria, watching and wanting to do everything big brother does, she would also excitedly offer whatever snacks she had.

Several weeks before Caiden’s tenth birthday, my husband came home with reading reward certificates for Pizza Hut.  The kids could redeem the certificates at Pizza Hut for pizzas or for reading books.  For my son, who started reading at the age of one, who can easily read a book in a day and who loves pizzas, this came as quite a delight.  He got to work right away and in no time we were heading to Pizza Hut to redeem his first certificate.  

Several days before his birthday he woke up with an idea.  “For my birthday I want to donate the rest of my pizza certificates to feed homeless people in DC.”  “That’s a great idea!” I said.  We started out as early as we could, visiting different Pizza Hut establishments and collecting as many pizzas as we could.  Some establishments even gave them extra pizzas when the kids told them about their project.  It  was quite an ordeal, driving to each establishment, getting the little one in and out of her car seat, waiting about 20 minutes for the pizzas to be prepared before heading to the next location.  It was a hot day and even hotter in the car since we had no air conditioning. But not once did the kids complain, fuss, get tired, ask to give up, quit and go back home.  They were kids on a mission and nothing would deter them.  While I drove, they packed goodie bags of pizzas, drinks and copies of The Great Controversy to distribute once we arrived in DC. 

We headed to DC and found a location where approximately 20 to 25 homeless individuals were just sitting and waiting.  It was an extremely busy street.  Cars sped by totally oblivious to their existence. They were practically invisible, living in their own world, another world. No one stopped or even bothered to look their way.  As our car pulled up beside them, their surprised and confused looks turned to curiosity, then excitement, as we started handing out the packages the kids had prepared.  Their hard work was rewarded with smiles and gestures of thank you.  But I noticed the biggest smiles came from my kids.  As we headed home, Caiden said, “Mommy, that felt really good.”  The next day, they got up and did it all over again.

Growing up, I watched my mom visit the sick at hospitals and the shut-ins in their homes to pray and stop to talk and pray with complete strangers on the street. I inherited her missionary spirit but I always dreamt of getting on a plane and helping the poor and needy in some faraway place.  And now seeing my kids embody this same spirit, has inspired me and taught me that missionary work begins right where you are.

Jesus said, “If you have done it to one of the least of these, you have done it to me.”  And he came as one of the least of these.  Who knows, maybe God has placed us here for such a time as this.  We can make a difference wherever we are and as we have seen, a little child can lead us.


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