The Lee’s Summit Aviator Pathfinder club is making a big difference by dreaming small. Inspired by Josh Wilson’s song, “Dream Small,” the Aviators are taking the chorus to heart.
Don’t buy the lie you have to do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways that only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
For a recent community service activity (before the coronavirus pandemic), the club was divided into five teams—each led by a TLT (teen leader in training)—and challenged to find a way to make a difference in their community. The challenge was two-fold: 1) positively impact someone in the community, and 2) do it within 60 minutes. The teams had complete control over the who, what, where and why. Adults were merely chauffeurs.
Team 1 decided to spend the evening singing songs to residents at the Pleasant Hill Rehabilitation Center. After a few selections, they asked the audience for requests. Many requested their favorite Christmas songs, and some even requested them in Spanish. Luckily, two of the Pathfinders were able to meet those requests. As the team was leaving, they were stopped by a resident in the hallway who has missed most of their concert. He asked if they’d be willing to sing one more song, and they readily agreed. When the song ended the man had tears in his eyes and said, “That was my mom’s favorite song, and I haven’t heard it since she died last year.” One never know how God is going to use them to bless others in their sorrow.
Team 2 decided to spread some cheer by passing out carnations to community members in the local Walmart Parking lot. As customers were leaving the store, the girls handed them a flower with a smile and said, “Have a great night.” At one point, a store manager came out to scold them. He had assumed they were there to sell things without approval and was surprised to discover they were just spreading joy. The manager went from shocked to pleased and told them all to have a great night, as well. It’s amazing how a little kindness goes a long way.
Team 3 felt a burden to help feed those who were in need in our local community. They loaded up a van and ministered to the city’s homeless. Those present expressed appreciation for these young people who were willing to think beyond themselves. As a bonus, they were even able to pray with a few of them. Praise God!
Team 4 decided to spread some cheer with a snack and an encouraging phrase. They, like team 2, headed to the local Walmart and greeted community members in the parking lot with a free snack and a note with an encouraging quote with messages of perseverance and hope. Many people would not take the snack at first because they were skeptical of strings being attached. Once people realized the Pathfinders were just being kind, however, they accepted the gifts. It’s encouraging that in a world where people can’t fathom kindness with no strings attached, we have young people who are willing reach out and show them what it looks like.
Team 5 left anonymous words of encouragement on the car windows of community members shopping at Hobby Lobby. More than 200 people left the parking lot that day with notes of encouragement. The Pathfinders hope this small act causes a ripple effect of encouragement throughout the community.
We’re thankful to the Pathfinders for rising to the challenge and being willing to make a difference in their community, and we thank our community members for helping these wonderful young people see the value and rewards that come along with their service.