Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Child

In the land of holiday plenty as I pass by the treat table, I have a heart tuned to those less fortunate elsewhere. While we indulge, it's sobering to realize two thirds of the world doesn't understand the concept of "counting calories." Some survive on one meal a day and keep busy so they don't think about their aching stomachs. In the November issue of Christianity Today, singer Sara Groves wept while visiting Rwanda when she saw a whole family taking shelter in a room the size of her bathroom.

And while many American kids have few chores and lots of free time, children of other countries are tasked with walking several miles to get water, gathering firewood and hand washing the few clothes their families own.

Those are the jobs of 7-year-old Rwogose, a little girl in a family of 15 children living in Uganda. She is our special little "Christmas Child"...ours to pray for throughout the month of December and ours to promote to others in the hopes of finding her a permanent sponsor.

We've been having a wonderful experience sponsoring children through Compassion International. Our sponsorship provides the basic necessities for a child, along with a Christian education. Their simple joy bubbles over into our lives in the letters they send: "I greet you and your family with joy and in the name of Jesus…" These people have so little, yet they are so thankful and so happy to have a sponsor. Though many miles separate us, they are part of our family.

A small sacrifice on our part has made such a difference in their lives. How easily might we otherwise spend $38 (a small monthly fee to give a child all of the above)… a family meal out? a new article of clothing? a salon or spa treatment? sporting equipment? tickets to an event? (Certainly none of these are wrong in and of themselves, but it puts in perspective the abundant choices we have while others are looking to simply survive.)

"All I want for Christmas" is a special appeal from Compassion International this holiday season to give more kids the opportunity to know that they are loved...through meeting the most basic of needs.

What I want for Christmas is for more people to consider this life-changing experience. For more info, please visit their site, e-mail me or comment here. Maybe you are not in a position to adopt a child, but even a one-time gift would tide some kids over until more sponsors can be found.

You will change a life forever. How can we spend any better than that?

Heavenly Father, you know all your children's needs. We thank you for the love you have lavished on us when you allowed us to live in a land of plenty. Please tune our hearts and help us spread our resources to the "least of these." Help us to live more simply so that others can simply live. Would you find Rwogose a sponsor? Please release her and the many other children from poverty…in Jesus' name.

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