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It all started several years ago. As the Lord blessed our little online ministry we began to search for ways to give back…to give back to Him. But who should we give to? How should we go about it? Would the little we could give make such a difference?
How could we involve our children in the “giving” of Christmas…
…..instead of the “getting”.
One of our first gifts to Jesus was one year when we did some shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse. It was so much fun shopping for items to put in our boxes…and we knew that the money we spent on those boxes would make a difference in a child’s life.
The following year we received the Gift Catalog from Samaritan’s Purse. We were so moved by the very practical ways we could help those in need all over the world. We have so much…and many, many have so little. That year we decided to go through the catalog and shop for gifts for Him…ways that we could be His hands and feet to those in need.
The next year for some reason we received the World Vision catalog as well as the Samaritan’s Purse catalog. Wow! Now we had another way to give of ourselves. That year we shopped out of both catalogs…letting the kids choose items to give as well.
Then it was over a year ago that Ann made me aware of Compassion. Through Compassion we could sponsor a child in another country…we could write them letters…send them gifts…share Christ with them…they would be like our own children. Yes…this would be one way to involve our whole family in reaching out to those in need…a more personal way to be involved in these children’s lives. So…a year ago we sponsored our first child..actually two children…Sonia and Jhonny – both from Bolivia.
While I often contemplate whether the little we have to give will make that much of a difference…the letters that come from these children tell me that we are…that Jesus is making a difference! We pray for each other every day.
While I sit in comfort, these children sit in poverty…
…but we pray…being one in Him.
My heart cries out that it is not fair…why do these children have to go through this…
…then their letters come with words of encouragement for me…words of gratitude for their family, for food, and for clothes to wear.
The birthday money we send them is spent not on toys and pleasures, but on a new pair of shoes and a sweater…or a backpack for school.
I have much to learn from these children! Several months ago we sponsored another child – Wender from Hondurus…another family member is added! As we pray over, support, love, and encourage these children and their families we not only bless them, but we are being blessed and changed in the process.
This year as I have gone out and about Christmas shopping for my family, my heart yearns once again to give gifts that will last…gifts that will change lives…save lives. Pretty soon we will be gathering together as a family to choose items out of the Compassion Gift Catalog, the Samaritan’s Purse Catalog, and the Gospel for Asia Catalog…looking for ways that we can change lives through our Gifts to Jesus. Thank you for your support of our ministry…you are playing a part in this too!
Last week I received an email from Eric and Leslie Ludy which contained a new video that they put together. It speaks of our responsibility as Christ followers to help the poor…to get out of our comfortable place and GIVE to Him…For it is when we give to the least of these, that we give to Him. It is an excellent video and only about 7 minutes long. I would encourage you to watch it…and allow the Lord to move you like He moved me. (For those receiving this blog post in a reader or via email, you will need to click on the post title to go to my blog to view the video.)
Here is the video…
I have also been listening to a sermon series by David Platt called “Radical: What the Gospel Demands.” It has been very challenging…especially the sermon on radical giving. I would encourage you to either watch this sermon series or download the mp3 files and listen…you will be changed. I also recently read David Platt’s book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. I highly recommend this book. I pray the Lord will challenge you as He has challenged me…to give all for Him.