Wednesday, November 24, 2010

“Generosity depends on our readiness to open our hearts for the needs of others and to share what we have with them.” –Life Application Topic, Wesley Study Bible, p. 1416

This past month we have brought in three new children. Kikwete, named after the current President that took office in 2005, and his sister Neema. They came to us through the local District Commissioners office. The two children were left in the rain at the police station after their caretakers decided they no longer wanted them. Kikwete is not more than five years old and Neema is no more than eighteen months. She has been a new experience for all of us as she cannot talk or use the bathroom by herself. She is in need of constant supervision.

Two days ago we received wonderful children’s blankets from St. Paul UMC in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The children of the church had put the blankets together during their VBS this past summer and then shipped some over for us. I handed out eight of these new, soft blankets and told them where they were from and that I wanted to take their picture with them. After the picture, Kikwete asked “do I have to give it back?” At that moment I realized how hard it is to explain what a “gift” is and that “no,” he did not need to give it back. Things such as love and gifts from people that he has never and will possibly never meet are extremely hard to explain.

I am reminded of how hard it is for a pastor to explain the gifts of love, grace, and forgiveness to his/her congregation. “For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). We as instruments of God and caretakers for fifty children must explain that a blanket is a gift from other children and that they do not have to give it back. We as Christians cannot give back to God what He gave to us, but we are to give to others in the same manner. For it is written, “The one who had much did not have too much and the one who had little did not have too little” (2 Corinthians 8:15).

Six of the children with new blankets.
Neema happy because she has something of her very own.

1 comment:

  1. Great comparison between the gift blankets and the gift of grace and love that God blankets over us. I like it! You might not remember me but I was on the other side of that skype chat in New York City at the Methodist Volunteer Training. In just about 4 weeks, I'll be flying over to Tanzania to serve in a school and church in Morogoro, TZ. I'm really excited and looking forward to this new step in my life and faith. I have started a blog and was wondering if you guys would be okay with me adding a link of your blog to my site? It's okay if not, but I'm just trying to allow those following me to take in as much of Tanzania as possible and I thought the more blogs, the merrier! I hope you two are doing well and perhaps our paths will cross some day!