I work at the LDS Humanitarian Center. Most of our facility could be called a factory. We don’t produce anything ourselves, but we sort through items and categorize them and then ship them out to places that need the items. Most of the workers sort through clothes on large “tables” that can be adjusted so that they stay at a comfortable height. It’s not the funnest job and it’s a lot of work, but most of the people here are just grateful to have a job.
I am constantly amazed at the positive attitude of the people here. The majority of our workers come from war-torn countries as refugees. For many of them, this is their first job or their first job in the United States. They learn work skills here and participate in English classes. It’s a great place to be and there is a definite feeling of brotherhood and friendship, but I feel for them because it can’t be easy to be in a new country, learning a new language, with little ties to your home or extended family.
We don’t preach as part of the work experience, but we have a spiritual thought at our update meeting once a week and we have pictures all around the building of the Savior and different people we’ve helped. There is one picture behind my desk that is especially striking. It depicts Christ holding an oil lamp and holding out His hand in an invitation.
I’ve received a lot of compliments on this picture, but the most memorable experience was when a worker that had been fired came in to pick up his paycheck. He asked who was depicted in the picture and then asked if it was Christ. It surprised me that he knew about Christ because English is his second language and he came from a country that doesn’t allow Christianity. We talked for a bit about the picture and about Christ and I told him where he might find a similar picture for himself.
I don’t expect any of the workers here to get baptized or even seriously explore Christianity, but it’s good to know that they may recognize pictures of Christ and that they appreciate our beliefs. This experience reminded me that we all recognize and are drawn toward light when we see it. Even people who have never been taught about Christ can be awed by the light and love that they see in Him and through Him.