This Lent I started following 40 acts (a project of more than 100000 people on a mission to make a generous impact in their community, during the 40 days of Lent.) When I first heard of them, at Assembly in my school, I was amazed and wanted to tell everyone to join this movement! As I just moved to the UK this year, I had never heard about 40 acts before and I wanted my friends and family back in Portugal to have this opportunity too!
So, everyday they send me an email with a new story and a new challenge. Before going to school I read their email and even if I don’t have time to read everything I would go straight to the red option (the most difficult challenge, because I really want to do something that challenges myself!) Of course there were some acts that I couldn’t comple, but I can guarantee that I read all of them and I have thought about them.
Besides that, every morning in my way to school I listen to a prayer created by a Portuguese group and available in a phone app (it is called ‘Passo a Rezar’ that means “Pray as you go”).
I started to follow their challenges and each day I tried to do something generous. I started picking up money from the floor and save it in my pocket, so when I saw someone on the street asking for money I could give to them. I’ve also started to take the attitude that even when I hadn’t nothing to give I would smile and say something, this way, although I hadn’t given nothing to them I felt I changed that moment, specially because most of those people smiled back to me and that fulfilled my heart. Later, I started to have some food in my bag ready to give to someone in the street. One night, after an event at my school, I brought home a full box of fish and chips that I didn’t want to waste. Before getting home, when exiting my tube station, I saw a homeless man and I gave the box to him. I felt very happy, because I know that Jesus gave me the opportunity to help that man follow His words: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”.
I’ve also started to pay more attention to everyone and everything around me and I started to ask people in the street if they needed help: some Spanish tourists in the tube station, some Dutch that didn’t know what to see in London, a man carrying lots of boxes that dropped in the middle of the road, a motorcyclist that found lots of nails in the middle of the road and avoid lots of flat tires… Even if some of these people said they didn’t need my help, I felt that they were changed, what before was a bad moment suddenly was better because they realised they weren’t alone and they smiled at me and said: “but thank you for asking”. After these amazing little moments I felt so happy because maybe I had the opportunity to change their day as much as they changed mine. After these experiences I am sure that being attentive to everything around me is the way to follow the word of Jesus and be closer to turn into His disciple, because only like this more and more opportunities of generosity will appear in our daily lives.
On Easter Sunday they posted this film featured by some of the people that made the challenge this year. Please take a look and try to find me! (3’30″😉)
I hope you take some of these ideas and help us making our world a better place full of love and generosity!
Use this link to watch the video: