A Memorable Valentine's Day of Compassion

We are now heading into our 4th year of carrying on the tradition of the Valentine's Day of Compassion, one that was started at our church at UC Berkeley! This year, a total of 106 students participated and spread out all across Austin to show God's true love on this wonderful day. Below is a recap from one of the students who participated. IMG_4724

Written by Nathalie L.

This year, many of the students at Koinonia participated in what's called Valentine’s Day of Compassion. For some, this was the first time they had done anything like this – whether it was working with kids, the elderly or just visiting a nursing home and shelter homes. It is an opportunity to live out the fundamentals of God’s word about love, rather than the narrow meaning of love (as just romance) found today. This year we visited six different locations with a program of praise songs, a message and various prepared activities afterwards. I had the opportunity to visit Posada Esparanza, which houses to families of immigrant women and children. This was the first time I had done this, let alone go into an environment like this. The language barrier alone created great anxiety on my end. However once we got there the children’s enthusiasm calmed me down a bit. They were definitely a rambunctious bunch, and I just fed off their high energy. During the activities, I had a chance to help the children make picture frames. Their excitement on creating something themselves really made me think of things in a different perspective. Regardless of all the anxiety I had felt in the beginning did not matter, because this wasn’t for me, but for them. The moment we stepped foot in there, everything shifted from my own worries to just being all about the children and mothers there. They have dealt with much tougher issues than I could ever imagine, but still they were able to be strong enough to laugh and live life in their own manner and start anew. It made me appreciate that I had a chance to do this because I was able to experience the real meaning of Valentine’s Day through showing God's true love to them!

Check out more photos here!