This week’s ROOM contributor is Kellie Weed. Kellie serves as a Honduran Missionary along with her family. They have been on the mission field for almost a full year now. This year has brought many experiences of learning how to serve the community better. In this week’s blog, Kellie shares what she has learned about the simple ways we can bring joy to the children we serve and empowers all of us to get involved.
I remember many times at Christmas browsing the store isles to fill a gift box for a child overseas. After reading the “suggested gifts” list I would wonder what in the world is a kid going to do with marbles? Or, really a comb? I have 20 of those, surely they would rather have some cute hair bows instead. Even, can’t they just go to the store and get some soap, it’s kind of big and will take up so much room that could be used for something they would enjoy more. Have you ever wondered that? Please tell me I’m not the only one.
More than once I’ve been to a processing center, where packages are inspected and boxed for shipping. I’ve heard powerful stories of children who received these gifts and some of the life-changing experiences that have come from simple marbles, combs and soaps. I’ve prayed over gifts for children I will never meet. I have given gifts with a genuine heart in hopes to make a difference but never have I understood the value of those gifts until I witnessed, first-hand, the children receiving them.
It wasn’t until I knew the names of children who value those marbles like gold and spend hours passing the time with a few balls and a dirt circle. It wasn’t until I was able to see the face of happiness on a young girl with combed hair that’s no longer matted. It wasn’t until I walked down the dirt road with the child who has no socks or shoes. It wasn’t until I saw the child bathing in the dirty river, but was excited to be washing with soap. The children we (ROOM) serves every day, are these children.
Last December I had the privilege to see the joy filled faces of children who received a brand new gift for Christmas. Children who see Christmas Day as just another day; children who don’t have parents to share in the excitement of the holidays. Yet, because someone thousands of miles away thought that they were important and worthy enough to use their time and resources to purchase a gift, they were overcome with joy, excitement and pride because, in that moment, they mattered.
One of the most important parts of sharing these gifts with the children we serve is that it also opens the door for us to share about the meaning of Christmas. The gift itself is life-changing because it provides items they could never dream of owning. It gives hope that someone cares about them. It gives confidence because they are now clean or wearing a new shirt. And it brings happiness to faces that have seen tragedy, loss and pain. But the greatest hope that those gifts bring is the hope of Jesus Christ. The hope that the trials of this earth are only temporary. The hope that there is a Great Comforter, Healer and Miracle-Maker. Many of these children don’t know Jesus and through delivering simple Christmas gifts, the door is open to share of the reason why we celebrate. Jesus.
This December, we will again have the opportunity to share that hope with children in Honduras. We are so grateful for Revive 31 small group (pictured below) that said yes to bringing the hope of Jesus through Christmas gifts to our friends at CRECER (read more about them here) for a second year! In addition to sharing Christmas with CRECER, we want to share with the children from Iglesia Restauracion who live in the bordos (learn more about that here) community. For many of these 75 children, it will be the first Christmas gift they have ever received!
75 is a lot of kids and there is no way we can take on this task alone, but with your help we can make it happen! We are looking for 6 churches, small groups, classes, youth groups, etc to sponsor 12 or so children this Christmas. Along with delivering the gifts, we will share fresh fruits and the hope found in Jesus. If you would like to be a part of making this happen, contact Honduras Country Director, Cassie Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Do you want to take it a step further? Do you want to share the love of Christ first-hand? It doesn’t take someone with special talents or gifts; it only takes a willing heart. If you are interested in visiting Honduras and being a part of what God is doing here, we would love to talk more with you about opportunities to do so. Email Cassie at the above address, or check out our website.
To make a financial contribution to support the children ROOM serves during the 2016 holidays and beyond, please visit our giving page.