Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do you remember how you felt at Christmas? This family does

Note from Ryan: Almost daily, I get to witness quiet acts of love, when no one is looking. People who share their stories with me about what it means to give and love children they will never meet. Sometimes, people want to share their stories with others...not to get credit, but to share how God has worked in their lives -- to share the lessons they've learned.

The next 3 blog posts are a series that will share such a story.

The name of the family is secret. In their words, "it's not about us." This past Christmas, they gave up giving traditional gifts to one another --- the whole family, even the kids. :) They made a group decision that will give gifts all year round to kids that needed a champion in southern Africa. Kids served by Forgotten Voices. Kids that have a church willing to help them, but the church needs some help to be equipped to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children.

I'm humbled by the loving touch of this family. Every day for the next 3 days, I'll share a perspective of a different family member, as they shared it with us. May you be touched by their story of how Christmas changed them on the day and all year long.

Peace, love, and thanksgiving,

Family Christmas Gift: Part 1

This year our family decided to do something different. Rather than buying gifts for each other, we decided to give that money to a charity. The charity we chose was Forgotten Voices. At the same time we decided to get very small (stocking) gifts for each other that we spent very little if no money on. As we were doing this, we realized that we were giving this money to people who needed it a lot more than we did. What we didn't expect were some of the other impacts that this decision had on us. Each member of our family has contributed thoughts on how this impacted them personally.

Since we just did very small gifts, we tried to make things. That allowed us to think about the person while we were working on it. It also allowed us to spend the holidays creating things with our hands instead of wandering around a mall looking for just the right thing. It allowed us to give personalized gifts as well. We budget money for gifts to friends and family and then also have a separate budget line item for giving – to those who cannot give back. We were able to give to the non-profit because we had money set aside in the giving category even though we had run out of money for gifts.

I think that is great to give about Christmas time because it helps keep things in perspective. On Christmas Day we were going to our relatives and driving through Lancaster City. A seemingly homeless man approached our vehicle at a traffic light. We donate money to Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster City so that they, who are better informed/equipped to give, can use the money to best serve those who need it (like this homeless man). With this situation in Haiti, we are currently waiting to give until we have a clear sense of what needs there are and what ways can best serve those people. Organizations like Forgotten Voices, Water Street, Compassion and World Vision can utilize money that we provide in much better ways than if we tried to do it on our own.

1. It's neat that instead of getting and giving presents that we may or may not use; we can give money to people for whom it could be the difference between life and death.

2. It's cool to help kids at Christmas since I'm not a kid anymore

Come back tomorrow to hear from a 2nd family member...

1 comment:

b said...

Powerful story, thanks for sharing I'm looking forward to hearing from the rest of the family!