Seven Rio Lindo Academy students proved they have servants’ hearts by engaging their local community with compassion.
Seniors Jair Barrios, Joseph Chen, Kuria Hamilton, Joshua Jesus, Federio Omolon, Jonathan Palomino, and Lolesio “Junior” Vitaliano recently chose to feed the unhoused residents in Santa Rosa during their last home leave.
Fighting boredom away from Rio, they “just decided to do something good.” Spending their own money to purchase food supplies, they assembled sack lunches of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese puffs, and chips. According to one, “It’s what we would have wanted to eat and what we could afford!”
Ambling through downtown Santa Rosa, they found plenty of people who gratefully received the food. Many smiled, shook their hands, and said thank you, and some just ignored them, but all took the food. Joseph Chen, one of the seven, was asked his thoughts on buying, making, and handing out the food. He shyly responded, “I don’t know – I guess I felt kind of proud.”
Jennifer Rich, vice-principal of enrollment, said, “The students returned to school after home leave and presented Principal Mekey Lepulu with a video of their missionary adventure. They didn’t realize they had captured the hope of every educator, parent, and pastor – that young men, less than 90 days from their high school graduation, would spend their free time serving their neighbors.”
Rich concluded, “The act of service these Rio Lindo students exhibited is evidence of how important Christ is in our families, churches, and Adventist schools!”
Featured in Northern Lights, March 16, 2023