Yesterday was the last day of shopping for me. If it isn't bought, it is not going to get bought. The house is clean, the cookies baked, now maybe we can have some time to sit, read the Christmas story from the bible, watch the Nativity, listen to some sweet tunes, have a devotion with the kids around the fire..these are my favorite Christmas reflections. Yesterday, as I was in the mall with 100,000's of other crazy people I could not shake an email that I had received earlier that day.
Pat Bradley is the president Of International Crisis Aid, a relief organization that has reached out to seven or eight different countries. I have had the blessing of being involved with this organization the past six months and yesterday Pat and I were discussing the probability of me traveling to Ethiopia with ICA in Feb. Faith that Works is dedicated to raising money for ICA's efforts to open a SAFE home here in Missouri for children rescued from sex trafficking. Pat made a comment in one of his emails yesterday, He said he gets discouraged sometimes when he sees all of the suffering around the world and he knows ICA can only do so much. He has seen children die, 13 year old girls forced into sex slavery, mothers selling their own kids just to feed the rest of the family, and many other horrors that I am sure he hasn't mentioned.
When I was shopping yesterday I kept thinking how the world in America slows down at Christmas, people are off work, an example of this, I tried to call a few ministries yesterday and they were out of the office until Jan. 4th. I felt a little sad..Christmas is so happy for most of us, but what about those that are starving, enslaved, or homeless? As the world takes time off to celebrate, what happens to them? Do we take time off of our good deeds, and if we do, who is there for them? Do we spend money (extravangtly) on Christmas and not give to those in need? Now that I have seen the suffering, just a little, I question my buying, my life, and how I spend my time. I may take the week off and enjoy all of the blessings in my life, but what about those in need?
My husband and I had the conversation this morning, how do you reconcile our over-abundance with the suffering around the world. We debated, Hannah's teacher thinks it is sinful to have a flat screen T.V., some think that money should go to the needy, is it sinful to live in a big home, or travel, or buy too many Christmas presents?
Our conclusion? It is a good debate, maybe we will never have the right answer, but none-the-less, a good debate to have. We SHOULD question our motives and the way we spend the resources GOD has given us. We SHOULD feel sad about the suffering in the world. AND we SHOULD strive to help more, care more, asking God what He wants us to do about it. If everyone did that, just gave a little, maybe the problems in the world would shrink, less people would starve, and the world would be a better place. I don't ever want to forget again, people are in need and I can do my part in helping them. I may not stop child-sex-slavery but I can help one girl or raise awareness, or money, I can do something!! May none of us forget, change comes a little at a time and God only requires us to be faithful with what He has given us!