Monday, April 26, 2010

Whatever you do for the least of my people

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I have talked before about my pastor and his wife adopting from Uganda. My pastor's wife has shared some blogs she has found that shows the plight of children in Uganda. This led me to do my own research and what I have found has both saddened and inspired me.

One of the things that I have realized is how much we as Americans take for granted. One of the blogs I read about an "orphanage" showed the the children there get one milk carton, and one bowl of watery gruel to eat and drink for the whole day. That is it. I ate more than that for breakfast. I realize that not every orphanage is like this, but a lot are. I realize that there are children that have no clothing or shoes, or only one set of clothing. I have felt guilty because since I have gotten laid off, I only buy clothing if it is on sale, or at garage sales, or on clearance. Now my children always looks nice and have dressers and closets full of clothes, but yet I feel guilty because there is not a little tiny logo sewn on the front that means you pay three times as much. What is wrong with that picture?

Recently Jamie has been asking for a Nintendo DS. He is a very caring kid, so I am just using this incidence as an example. He has three different gameboys, an X-Box, A Nintendo 64, A NES, A Wii, and a Sega genesis. These are older systems though, and he wants the newer system. There is no harm in wanting something I suppose. In addition to that in my house alone there are 5 televisions, 4 DVD players, 3 VCR's, two computers, and three of the TV's have cable. Now my televisions are not the new flat screens or HD or anything, but still, everyone has the luxury to watch what they want when they want to. Jamie has two bikes, a scooter, and 2 skateboards. Lind has about 100 barbies, a bike, a scooter, a dollhouse, and numerous dolls and dress up clothes. It doesn't matter that some of this stuff was not new when I bought it, the point is that they have it.

Jake and I live in a house that has four bedrooms, 2 vehicles, a new roof, new gutters, heat, electricity, and air conditioning. We are being blessed with an even bigger house with more room. What is the point of all of this? The point is that I have realized that my family has so much and has taken for granted that fact. While we have always tried to help people, I think we have done it the easy way. We mostly help family, or friends, or charities. It is easy to give of your stuff and your money. What about giving of yourself?

I have decided that my kids need to learn about the plight of others. I am starting a new trend that I am hoping will revolutionize my family. I am hoping to teach my children not only gratefulness for what we have, but a compassion and a willingness to help others. I have begun by showing them some of the pictures of the orphanages I referenced above. I am also looking into volunteer opportunities this summer for us as a family to work at. We are also beginning to pray everyday for others. When we move into the new house, we will thank God for his blessings, but also remember to pray for others less fortunate. I have already begun to fruit from this. My mother goes on a mission trip every summer. When I was packing, I found a whole bag of McDonald's toys that had never been opened. Someone had given it to me and I had put it in the closet and forgot about it. I gave it to Jamie and Linda to have. My mother saw it and made the comment that the kids in Muldova would love to have something like that. They have so little toys. Jamie and Linda made the decision on their own to give the toys to my mom to take on her mission trip. I am so proud of the work God has done in their hearts and I only hope to continue it. Please pray for me as I make this journey of leading myself and my children to be more mission minded.