World Change Begins with ME!


I just led a week of service for local middle schoolers and I saw a lot of students exercise courage. It got me thinking about this quality of character. What is courage? According to one dictionary, courage is “the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.” I like this definition because it highlights courage as a choice that requires willingness.

I remember being in middle school when the song We Are The World was released. My friends and I had seen the images of starving African children on the nightly news. I didn’t understand why this was happening but I knew it shouldn’t be. As a 6th grade class we decided we needed to do something about this tragedy so we gathered our classmates on the playground everyday and practiced singing the song during recess. After a couple of weeks we performed it for the classes on our hall, collected some money, and had a classmate send our humble offering to an organization that was collecting funds for famine relief.

Courage: The confidence to act in accordance with one’s beliefs.

My classmates and I didn’t care if the other students thought our version of We Are the World was good, or ridiculous, or silly. We needed to bring attention to a terrible truth; an urgent global issue.

For me, as a middle schooler, this song was a call to action. It was about a choice to look beyond my own backyard, take courage, and be willing to do something to help, to restore hope, to believe that things could be better.

As Martin Luther King, Jr says, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

It takes courage to serve. It takes courage to step out of your regular routine, go to places that are unfamiliar, invest your life in the well-being of others, be a voice for true change, do new things, fail and then start again.

Each week I am inspired and encouraged by the young people that I lead in our World Changer and Girl Power Clubs. It is a great joy to see young people moved to action upon learning about global issues. It is a privilege to guide them as they craft response plans and lead their initiatives. It is inspiring to celebrate the way they invest their lives in something positive that seeks the common good.

Through these youth initiated efforts to reduce global poverty I see students develop a sense of responsibility, achieve self-esteem, acquire a personal identity, and learn to love and care for others.

Please join us, be a world changer and support the work of Heart of the Cross through your prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts. Help us continue to engage the hearts, minds, and hands of youth in purpose driven service to our local and global community!