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."

Friday, December 3, 2010

True Sacrifice

As a “missionary family”, people are often saying thank you to us for the “sacrifice” we make in our work with Forgotten Voices. I am always a little taken back and never know quite what to say in response to this. I do not often think of what we are doing as a sacrifice on our part. Sure, Ryan travels quite a bit and Avery and I are not always able to join him. Sure, he works a lot of nights and weekends, since calling Africa and working with volunteers requires odd hours. Sure, we might be able make a little more money doing something else with our time. But sacrifice? After spending time in Zimbabwe and Zambia and hearing the stories from our partners in Africa, I certainly do not feel like we are sacrificing much.

I have seen first-hand what I would consider true sacrifice. Sacrifice is the grandmother taking in her twelve grandchildren after their parents have passed away due to AIDS related illnesses. Sacrifice is the twelve-year-old who stops going to school so he can work and care for his younger brother and sister. Sacrifice is the home-based care worker who volunteers her time to visit with widows and children who are orphaned. Sacrifice is the pastor who conducts many funerals in one week – week after week. Sacrifice is the pastor who works tirelessly to support his congregants as they work to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the hurting families in their communities. Sacrifice is giving when it would be easier not to – when it would be easier to focus on themselves, but instead focus on the needs of others.

Sacrifice was Jesus coming to Earth as a man and dying on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven. Christ’s love for us resulted in the ultimate sacrifice, so that we may have life. This leaves us with an incredible responsibility and blessing to honor Christ with our lives. I have learned so much from the pastors, volunteers and families in Zimbabwe and Zambia about what it means to honor Christ with my life through service to others. This Christmas, join our family in praying about how God may be calling us to serve those in our community and in Southern Africa. May we know what it means to truly sacrifice for the sake of others, and as we do, may we learn more about the love of Christ for us and for people all around the world.

Merry Christmas!

Katie Keith

1 comment:

The King Zoo said...

Amen! Thank you so much for posting this. It is a great challenge and very encouraging. I think you've done an excelent job of summing up the "spirit of Christmas". Can we make this our family Christmas card? :) Enjoy God's blessings on your family for serving Him whole-heartedly and for sharing the testimonies of others who are doing the same -right where they are.