As we approach another Holiday Season, I am thankful to see how many people are crying STOP! No more STUFF!
Even limiting 3 toys per child, per Birthday and Christmas, seems like too much at our house. “No more stuff!” has been my hearts cry for 2 years now, as I worked to convince family & friends that we don’t want more toys, or things. To show the people I get to be in contact with, that there is more to Christmas than a tree so burdened with gifts, that it spills out the sides and screams of excess.
If we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, than what better time of year to do it……
Instead of buying gifts for your office gift exchange, or family Christmas, why not decide to donate to a worthy cause like Compassion International? Or Samaritans Purse? These ministries are AMAZING and are doing great things for the glory of God!
Meet Bampata John, who has been a part of our family for 10 years now, and Nahabwe Deborah who we adopted maybe 5 years ago?
They are both in Uganda. We get letters and photos from them, and can easily write them back and send photos via Compassion International. They make it so easy to sponsor a child and be in communication with them!
To you, it may just be a good cause, $38 a month. To these families sponsored, it means food, water, education and clothing or household items, whatever need is greatest.
We send extra money for Birthdays and Christmas. With the $20 extra we sent for John’s birthday, guess what Compassion was able to buy him?
A BED. Who doesn’t have a bed?!
Needless to say, it was VERY eye-opening for my older children.
Paxton is 3, and he doesn’t know we’ve sponsored these children for most of their young lives. But, when Compassion sent out some literature about the staggering need for sponsors, he immediately began to ask about the “sad children”.
He asked lots of good questions about them, with concern in his big sweet eyes. I am writing today to say this, it is NOT too early to talk to your toddler about the world and the great need there is for food, water and education in other countries.
It is not too late to decide to do this instead of gifts this year. The gift of Sacrifice is a beautiful thing, and one whose blessings you cannot imagine in this lifetime. The gift of Compassion is priceless…..to feel compassion literally means to suffer with someone.
The English word “compassion” is derived from two Latin words. The first means “with”; the second means “to suffer.” Taken together, the word “compassion” literally means “to suffer with” someone. It involves not just feeling sympathy for another person’s misfortune but a willingness to respond by taking action on their behalf. In fact, ancient playwrights used a similar Greek word to depict warhorses, chomping at their bits, eager to charge into battle.
You see, Christian compassion doesn’t stand aloof from someone in pain, feeling sorry for their circumstances, all-the-while remaining detached and uninvolved. It requires us to enter into suffering with those around us. In certain cases, this may mean doing what we can to alleviate someone’s problems. But even when we can’t, we can still actively engage in their pain the way Scripture instructs by weeping with those who weep and struggling alongside those who struggle.
I hope you will consider making this Christmas Season, a Season of COMPASSION, not a Season of STUFF.
I wrote more about Compassion International as a company here in 2010. And gave you more gift alternatives last year:
I hope this video warms your heart and moves you to act…..