Monday, December 9, 2013
This morning, as I stood out on our deck in the early morning gazing up at the multitude of stars, being overwhelmed by God's greatness and mercy, my thoughts wandered from how very blessed we are to comparing our circumstances with many of those around us.
Our daughter is coming at the end of the week, and we are busy planning another Christmas party for our 10 sponsored kids...and let me tell you, they are plenty excited! I asked them to bring their Christmas stockings back to me this week and was met with puzzled looks until I explained that Santa just might fill them again, then 10 little faces lit up with joy! They may not sleep all this week!!
As I pondered their excitement and the joy I have in our being able to give them something special this Christmas, I also reflected on the many other children in our church and community who will have nothing this Christmas. Nothing. Sobering thought.
We have had major changes at our church here - loss of leadership, loss of funding. Long story, but the bottom line is this: there is no money for anything. We have 40 families who have been receiving a food bag once a month which will feed their families for one week. There is no more money for that.
In the past couple of years, the church has tried to do something special for them for Christmas - a basket of food beyond the essential beans and rice, maybe a chicken for their Christmas dinner, or a bag of homemade cookies. There is no money for that either, and that makes me profoundly sad.
We have so many people out of work on this island and in our church body. Every single week there is a request from some struggling mom or dad for money to buy food or pay a bill. My heart just breaks for them. A little boy of maybe 8 years came up to me after church yesterday and asked for work!! Imagine. And I had to turn him away. We cannot help everyone. We employ a part-time housekeeper whom I do not need simply to help provide for her family.
So, as I make plans to bring some joy to 10 children and to their families, I fight back the tears for those who will receive nothing.