Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What we have loses its value if we don't share it

Often we seem to get so caught up in the pace of life that we don't take a minute to think. We like everything fast. We have fast food, fast lanes, fast cars, fast web, and even slim fast. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips, and that's just the way we like it.

It comes as no surprise that due to our fast-paced mindset, we'd prefer to hear statistics. We like numbers because our brain can process them quickly and move on. I could sit here and tell you that the life expectancy of the average Ugandan is 52 years old, the literacy rate is 66%, and for every one thousand live births in Uganda, 63 children die (as opposed to 6 in the US). And while that information might boggle your mind, you won't remember it near as much as if I show you.

That's what yesterday's post was all about.

It could've been me.

I could've been the one who was born in Uganda. It could've been you or your daughter or your best friend. It could've been any of us.

We truly live in a blessed nation. I am not saying any of these things to make you feel guilty, but to help you understand that it could've just as easily been any one of us living the life I described yesterday.

But it wasn't. And there's a reason for that.

God has blessed us, but He doesn't want us to hold on to that blessing. I was reading a novel by Chuck Holton titled Island Inferno. In it, one of the characters said, "What we have loses its value if we don't share it." As Americans, we are taught from a very young age that what's mine is mine, and I don't have to share it.

God calls us to a different way of living. The Bible tells us that pure and undefiled religion is to care for widows and orphans (James 1:27), faith without deeds is dead (James 2:17), and that our love for one another will prove to the world that we follow Christ (John 13:35).

Whether we like to think about it or not, the truth is that right at this very moment a child is suffering. She may have been infected with malaria, or lost her parents to AIDS. She may be hungry, hot, and searching for love. And if we're being really honest, she may be all the above.

Does it break your heart as much as it does mine?

If you knew there was something you could do, would you do it?

Wel there is something we can do.

Currently there are over 110 children in Uganda who are in need of sponsors, 10 of which live in Camp El Har orphanage. This isn't just a number. These are real children with real faces who have real struggles.

Today marks an important day in our 40 day journey to departure. The amount of days we have before we leave equals the number of days we will be gone (30). So I would like to propose a challenge.

Will you join in helping us make a few less children in need of sponsors? It is $28 a month to sponsor a child through AMG International. The great thing is that money we send goes directly toward caring for the child, and AMG keeps an eye on each of these kids and knows their needs.

The money would help give a child a hot meal every day. It would give them an opportunity to receive an education. And most importantly, this child would hear about the love Christ has for them.

Sponsorship is a sacrifice. And it's one that we, as a family, make every month to support our sponsored children. People say they don't think they could afford it, but I know from experience that when we take on sponsoring a child, God will provide. When I first started sponsoring Mariam and Sophie I said that it would be God who was providing for them, not me. I have college debt to pay off, and I don't have a steady income. For the past 10 months I haven't worked at all due to my sickness, and I've been living off my savings account. A week ago I had no idea where next month's sponsorship money would come from. But I prayed that God would provide for them, just as He always has. A few days ago I was called to babysit. Then a neighbor offered to pay me for looking after his dog. The Lord always provides.

$28 a month. That's deciding one night not to order pizza and rent a movie. That's foregoing the cup of Tim Horton's coffee a couple times a week or resisting the urge to make a daily vending machine run. That's less than we pay for a tank of gas (unless you drive a hybrid, in which case it's what you save in gas)!

With a few sacrifices you could help a boy like Matiya.

When we first met Matiya, he wore a tattered and torn pair of overalls. He was dirty and sickly. But none of that compared to the look in his eyes. It was a look of emptiness, of hopelessness.

After 1 year of sponsorship, Matiya is a healthy and joyful 7 year old boy. He laughs. He sings. He plays. And most of all, he loves. He has learned of God's love for him and he loves God too. But Matiya loves someone else also. It's someone he's never met before, only seen in photos. Matiya loves his sponsor, because she brought him hope and now he knows that in spite of our struggles, we can have great joy in Christ!

Sponsorship may be a sacrifice, but it yields great blessings.

If you have any questions about child sponsorship or would like to sponsor a child, feel free to contact us at housers4uganda@yahoo.com. We can help find a child just for you. You can also find out more by clicking here to visit AMG's website or by clicking the picture of the baby on the left sidebar. We do not work for AMG International, but we believe in what they are doing to help children in need all over the world.

I challenge you to pray about sponsoring a child. Talk to your family members and friends and challenge them as well. It's a great family project for people with younger children. Get together with someone you know and tag team the sponsorship, alternating months throughout the year.

A few small changes in our lives can make a huge difference in the life of a child.

Will you join us and help a child today?

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