So as we all know Christmas isn't that far away. The decorations have been out in the shops for weeks and a lot of people have even started shopping for presents. I am one of those people. I love giving people presents. I love seeing the look on their faces as they unwrap that present I have chosen for them.
Since Joel was born, we've had a little tradition with a couple of other families in our church who have boys the same age as Joel. In the couple of weeks before Christmas we get together for dinner and the boys (and now the siblings) exchange gifts. They aren't huge gifts - $10-$15 spent on each kid. This year, Marina and I had really struggled with the idea of all the 'stuff' our kids already have and all the 'stuff' they would be getting at Christmas already. It seemed so unnecessary, especially when there are those around the world, and even in our own neighbourhoods, that have so little, if anything at all. They are concerned about where there next meal is coming from, whether their young child will survive the night from malnutrition, or how they are going to provide for their families long term. So we have decided that instead of the boys getting presents from each other, we will put the money towards a gift from the JustSalvos site. JustSalvos is the social justice department of The Salvation Army in Southern Australia. It's a great site with lots of info. They have a section called JustGifts. You can choose all sorts of 'gifts' from the site - things like building materials, toilets, school supplies, healthcare and animals. We are going to buy a goat. That goat goes to a needy family somewhere in a third world country - the goat will provide them with milk and meat (eventually!) and also they are easy to breed so that can be a source of income for the family.
We'll get a little card for each of the boys that explains what we have done and we'll talk about it with them too. I think it's really important for them to know that Christmas isn't just about getting getting getting. But it's about giving as well. I want my boys to have a heart for others especially those who are less fortunate than us. I want them to find the joy in giving to others.
So please, consider giving up one of the kids Christmas presents this year and buying a goat, chicken, pig, toilet, etc... Let's teach the next generation that it's not all about me me me. It's not all about stuff that we have, more stuff, more money, more more more. It's about doing, giving, being aware of the world around us and those in it that are suffering. To us $20, $30 is nothing but to so many around the world it could be the turning point. The break they need to get out of the poverty cycle.
Please consider it.
Till next time