LIGHTING THE WORLD: LDS initiative celebrates Christ’s birth
Published 3:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2016
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Light the World” Christmas initiative is a global effort celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and is an encouragement to people to serve others during the Christmas season.
Zach Hansen and Preston Burbidge, missionaries to the Troy area, said they are responding to the effort by being examples and lights in 25 ways over 25 days.
“Jesus was a Light in the world in so many ways and we are following His example in an effort to serve as He did,” Hansen said. “Jesus lifted the burdens of others. We are serving by visiting with people who are sick and lonely in an effort to lift their burdens.”
Burbidge said he and Hansen have found ways in and around Troy to be of service to others during the “Light the World” initiative.
“We walked around town and looked for ways to be of service, like the way Jesus did,” he said. “We have raked leaves for those who couldn’t do the work themselves. We fixed a fence for a farmer who needed help. The more you look, the more ways you can find to be of service.”
Jesus fed the hungry and Hansen and Burbidge have helped at the Pike County Salvation Army Service in different ways, including assisting with the food pantry.
“Our plans were to help with the Turkeys from Heaven program, but that conflicted a scheduled event,” Burbidge said. “Jesus ministered to children and we helped with the Toys for Tots project that provides Christmas for children that probably would not have gifts at Christmas time.”
The missionaries have worked with the Pike County Chamber of Commerce doing different chores around the office and, therefore, giving the staff more time to conduct chamber business.
“Jesus prayed and worshiped his Father and read the scriptures and we continue to do that, of course,” Hansen said. “We look for the things that Jesus did in service to others so that we might do the same kinds of things.”
In their efforts to bring light into the world by serving others, the missionaries said they have found that many people are lonely and desire the comfort that comes for something as simple as conversation.
“Some people just need somebody to talk with,” Burbidge said. “Jesus made time for others, so can we. We visited the Troy Nutrition Center and spent time talking with the people there. It seemed to brighten their day and it did ours as well.”
The missionaries said simple acts of kindness can mean so much to those who are lonely or sad and dejected. During the 25 days of the Light the World Christmas initiative, Hansen and Burbidge said they have committed themselves to being an example of Jesus’ service and a light to others.
“We have come to know Jesus Christ better by doing what He did,” Hansen said. “We want to serve others as Jesus did. If Jesus found ways every day to serve others, so can we.”
Google “Light the World” to learn more about the Christmas initiative and to find encouragement to be a Light in the world.
The missionaries can be reached at 334-434-9092.