Jan. 8, 2010: A friend teaches about the gift of giving, by Audrey Stiles

Giving is wonderful. Everyone tells me that giving is better than receiving. And while the Christmas season is about giving and being around friends and family, it is not the only time we can give.

I have an elderly friend named Melva who has taught me much about giving.

I love to give my time to visit her. She always gives her time and love. Melva was my mentor during church conformation. We had fun and got to be really close friends. She took me out to eat, we went on walks, and so much more. She helped me get to know God, and she taught me how great giving can be.

Melva has given so much to the church. She and her husband, Burton, started a church at Lovewell Lake, Kan., more than 50 years ago. Melva loves that little church that used to be a schoolhouse. Every year she is so excited to go and help serve God at the Lovewell church. She loves that church so much that even when her husband died, she continued serving there. As she got older and couldn’t drive anymore, she still didn’t give up going to Lovewell.

I love going with Melva to Lovewell. Every Sunday is a treat. There are either musicians to share their music or there is a speaker. Melva also has taught Sunday school there and I love to hear the stories she tells about it. Everyone at church is willing to give her a ride from Concordia to Lovewell; it’s the least we can do to give back what she has given to the church.

Melva has taught me a lot about giving. She is such a caring person. She has influenced me to be a better person. Melva also taught me that I don’t have to give just at Christmas, but all year long. I love to give to my church and to the community in many ways. When Melva came into my life, my life changed entirely. I learned that giving is important and people are always grateful for what you have to give.

My life has been full of giving. People give me some of their precious time to teach me how to play an instrument or to help me with homework.

I am very glad that Melva has helped me learn that giving is such an amazing action.

— Audrey Stiles is a sophomore at Concordia High School and is the daughter of Chris and Melissae Stiles.

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