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.|