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Mentor Teaches a Teenager about the Value of Service

In his book Leading Across Culture, James E. Plueddemann reflects on an experience that taught him the eternal value of service and working hard—even at what others might call menial jobs. During his high school days, Plueddeman worked at a Christian camp under the direction of an outstanding leader named Hiram "Hi" Johnson.

One day, [Plueddemann writes], we worked until dark trying to finish a staff house before the camp season started. My shirt was soaked with sweat, and my hands blistered from shoveling sand around the foundation. I was beginning to feel sorry for myself when Hi Johnson strode around the corner of the building. He watched what we were doing for awhile and then quietly reminded us that the staff who were moving into this house would be a big help to the camp.
Then he said something that I will never forget: "Your shoveling will, in the long run, be used of the Lord to bring a lot of campers to Jesus." We started shoveling with a renewed sense of purpose. Now we were not just a bunch of dirty, sweaty high school kids tired of shoveling mud. We were instruments of God Almighty to bring people to himself. What a lesson in leadership! Our view of the task shifted from shoveling sand to building the kingdom.

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