The involvement of students in school social projects is one of the fundamental characteristics of the school. Lutheran Academy (LA) doesn´t forget it even during Advent. Students were encouraged to find practical ways to help neighbors and the needy in order to enrich the educational program with the practical application of Christian values. This year’s Christmas social project aimed at understanding and helping with refugee issues.
LA chose this social project because the contemporary refugee issue is overwhelming. It has been called the worst refugee crisis since World War 2. Millions of people in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa, have been forced from their homes and are seeking asylum in Europe and North America—anywhere they can be safe. Governments have helped but the church and God’s people everywhere also need to reach out and “be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
The first activity focusing on practical assistance to refugees was winter collection of shoes in which the school managed to collect more than 50 pairs of winter boots. All of them are now being used by refugees, who are being temporarily accommodated in refugee camps in Sečovce, Slovakia. The second activity within this school social project was a collection of books that was called „Books that Help.” The school managed to collect several valuable books, including language textbooks, which will be useful in helping the refugees to successfully integrate.
The third part of the school’s social project was an interesting presentation by Joseph Rybár, a man who volunteered and worked with refugees directly in the field on the Serbian-Croatian border. The practical assistance and help given to the refugees was fascinating. Students were curious about the reasons people left their homes, and wondered about the consequences and impact of this decision on their lives.
People on social media have pointed out that Jesus Himself was a refugee, when He and his mother and father fled to Egypt to escape King Herod. As our students prepared to celebrate our Savior’s birth, we were glad to have this opportunity to encourage them (and ourselves) to also reach out to the poor and needy among us, because in serving them, we are serving Him.