I had to do a double take. That girl they were posting about was me! I couldn't believe an organization as large as Children's HopeChest would post about my blog on their Facebook page. What an amazing way to start my day!
I went off to class in a good mood but I found I couldn't focus. I kept thinking about the mission trip contest. I thought about how amazing it would be to win the contest, how grateful I would be. But then I caught myself.
"This isn't about you, Alexandra," I thought, "This isn't about you winning a prize. This is about giving to people in desperate need. This is about serving others."
The truth of the matter is that I committed myself to going on this trip to Swaziland before I found out about this contest. I committed myself to doing the service no matter how challenging it was to get there and as blessed as I would feel to win a free mission trip, I have to remember how blessed I already am.
I am not in this to win, I am in this to put my whole heart into something I am passionate about. I am not in this to win, I am in this to learn about my world family. I am not in this to win, I am in this to serve. Children's HopeChest has provided us with an incredible opportunity. I really can't say that enough!
I will lovingly celebrate whoever wins the mission trip because I know that it's much more than one person who is really winning this contest. The prize really goes to the people we are serving. In fact, the prize really goes to the world, because anyone who receives the opportunity to give themselves up in service, will never turn back. They will change because of this experience and will keep on serving. The world will be bettered no matter who wins the contest and therefore, as global citizens, we are all winners in this one.
When I got home from class today I saw another post on the Children's HopeChest Facebook page. The president of the organization had read my blog and had written an article about it.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am for that act of kindness. I am humbled, in awe, and ecstatic, not because I think this will win me a trip, but because it makes me more determined to give. His post gave me a more powerful resolve to stay in this for the long haul. It reminded me once again that while, yes, my goal is to serve in Swaziland this summer, this trip is not the end of my commitment to the world. I don't take my dedication to service lightly and no matter what happens with this contest, or this trip, my whole heart is still devoted to service.
I may lose this contest, but the world is going to win because of it, and that is the best prize I could ask for.