Snow, Charity, and Support
What is the definition of service? Many scholars and thinkers have shared their thoughts on this topic. Nobel Prize-nominated Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Service is an act of selflessness and love. In surprisingly few words, the Lord Jesus Christ taught His disciples about the pattern they should live for the rest of their lives: “That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). In ten words, the Lord taught about loving and enduring service, leaving His own life as a role model.
We live in a world saturated with messages of selfishness and arrogance. At Cumorah Academy, we inspire our students to become committed to being involved in good causes and service. They will learn that small efforts can have an enormous impact.
Who could have guessed that a run in the winter would be a place for service and support? In its 50th edition, the Winter Run is the first of five during the season and is part of a series of races: Běžec Podblanicka 2024. Usually, a marathon under -8ºC may not be the most usual place to express selfless love, gratitude, and support. But students learned this critical lesson: There is no perfect place to serve, but serving makes all places perfect.
Runners from different parts of Czechia found grace and cheerfulness with our students. They stopped to take pictures, record videos, and even dance with our students as they cheered up beside the sidewalk. They helped before and after the run. And what did they do? Not only did they organize the tables for registration, but they stayed on the sidewalks as contestants ran, cheering them up and singing to motivate them. They did this and much more.
Contestants left notes and posts filled with gratitude messages to students. One, in particular, mentioned that without their encouragement, he would not have enough energy to finish the marathon. Another said, “You were the best. Thanks for the party. It helped me a lot to find new strength to continue.” Our students also felt immense gratitude for attending this service project.
They went home changed and renewed. “It was amazing to be part of this running event. I enjoyed running and cheering other participants at the finish line. I created a new positive experience that has already impacted my life,” says Tetiana from Ukraine. Another Ukrainian student, Margo, shared how cheering for others had impacted her: “Not only do we serve others, we got a chance to talk with natives around here. They were wonderful!” Sariah from Peru said: “This was a wonderful experience, the way that we supported each other was genuine and more than just friends helping the race, we were like a family supporting it.”
Serving others is a noble cause. We want our students to focus not only on obtaining degrees or certifications but also on serving and supporting their fellow students. At Cumorah Academy, we believe in the power of service and charity. The Savior’s words are our roadmap for our decisions: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one to another” (John 13:35). In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord said we are to let our light shine. “Let your light so shine before men,” He says, “that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We can let our light shine anywhere we may be. There are always ways and places to serve others; you can do it at home, at work, at school, and even in a winter marathon.
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Written by Fernando Ferreira Jr. in collaboration with Delton Sambo