On December 9, students from the Red Bank High School Maryknoll Affiliate Club went over to St. James elementary school to teach a lesson about mission and Christmas to the third grade classes. The lesson included elements such as "What is a missionary?"; "Where do they work (using world maps)?"; and "How do children know that their moms and dads and grandparents love them?"
Then Red Bank students then had templates of little Christmas scenes on folded 8x11 pages. The teens told the little kids that we are all missioners and that they could be missionaries today by choosing a paper, writing a message and coloring the picture for a little child in another country so that child would know he/she has a friend. The Red Bank students told the elementary school children they would mail the cards to kids in Cambodia and Tanzania. The little kids were thrilled to be part of this so got out their crayons and pens and began writing and coloring.
I was perched way in the back of the room so as not to get in the way and watched from behind as one little boy dug into his pocket. I saw him take out all of his money--4 quarters. He was deep in thought for a moment, quietly replaced one quarter into his pocket and hid the other 3 under his picture. He then asked one of the Red Bank students for scotch tape. When she asked him why he needed it, he said it was a surprise. So she gave him the tape dispenser. He returned to his desk, quietly turned over his card and taped the three quarters inside of it.
Inside he had written: "Merry Christmas Jesus loves you. So does God. Love, your friend from the United States."
When he saw me quietly watching him, he came back to me and whispered: "I don't HAVE to have a snack today."