I recently read a story in the news about a woman who got fired from a cafeteria because she gave a meal to a kid who didn’t have money to buy food. I immediately thought of how easy it is for us to spend other people’s money and how many times we don’t even think of reaching into our pockets. Then I quickly realized, if it wasn’t for so many of y’all, Angelica and I would not be able to do the things we do here in Paraguay.
Angelica and I buy a lot of “lunches” in different forms. We help people with medical emergencies, scholarships, unanticipated expenses and, sometimes, even food. While we may be like the cafeteria lady, helping others with someone else’s money, we make sure we invest time in these people as well. We make sure they know of Christ and that they know we are helping them because they are important to God, to us, and to the people who support us. Sometimes the knowledge of knowing others care is more uplifting than the funds themselves.
Angelica and I saw this play out recently in our own lives. Many of y’all know about Operation Christmas Child. For some reason, the boxes are delivered here in Paraguay in April. Several times, Angelica and our group have been asked to help give out the boxes. Not only is this a great experience for the children and their parents, but we have received many invitations to share Christ in public schools after people saw or experienced this work.
This year, after giving out hundreds of boxes, there were a few left over. Someone asked Angelica if she would like to take one back to our nephew in Asuncion. Angelica accepted the offer, took one of the boxes home, and gave it to Emiliano (our nephew) the next day.
Let me tell you a little bit about Emiliano. He is 4-years-old and is crazy about dinosaurs. His birthday is coming up and he wants a dinosaur party. He is hoping everyone who comes to his party will bring him a dinosaur. He has a few, but they are hard to find here in Paraguay. His mom told Angelica that he had been praying for dinosaurs.
When Emiliano opened his box, right on top were three dinosaurs. Of all the boxes handed out, Angelica brought back the one with dinosaurs. The funds that made it possible for the box to be prepared and sent are greatly appreciated. Getting exactly what he wanted and prayed for, well . . .?
Emiliano thinks the box was especially packed for him, and maybe he is right.
I thought I was going to have to take this gift away from this child. Then I realized that it was just Illinois!