by Joy Casey
A 10-year-old boy galvanized me to action. He heard of a need in Ethiopia and immediately demanded that his friends join him in doing something about it. In just a few weeks, Matthew has raised $1500 (yes, one-thousand five-hundred dollars!) for bio sand filters. It was incomprehensible to Matthew that children his age spent most days digging in the dirt for ground water and then had to haul the dirty water back to their village only to get sick drinking it! His dad is going on a missions trip the end of March to install 16 bio sand filters in a remote village and Matthew wants to do his part. Wahoo for Matthew!
Another group of kids in Arizona saved their nickels, dimes and quarters and sent Adoption Ministry $400 to build a house in a rural village! They heard about the poverty and desperate needs in this village and then and there decided they wanted to be part of a solution. Today, a family has a house with a cement floor and tin roof …. a far better house than they could ever have without the help of these kids.
I got a check from some children in California in the amount of $160.32 to be used to feed orphans. What an honor! Of course we will use that money for food. Babies need formula, toddlers and children need three meals a day, and the grannies (widows) also need nutritious food. Food prices are exorbitant in Ethiopia right now, and how grateful I was to receive this donation from little children (K – 2nd grade) who have huge hearts for those less fortunate. Elementary students from another church saved their money to buy four goats to economically boost poor families in Ethiopia. I can only guess at the joy these children bring to God’s heart.
Then there are high school kids who did a formula drive at their public school. Those that couldn’t afford a can of formula chipped in with a buddy to bring a can. The end result? In two weeks they gathered 300 pounds of infant milk formula worth $4,000! Don’t tell me that kids don’t care for anything but shopping at the mall. Teens desperately want to make a difference in their world … they just need a vision and something tangible to do.
I asked for computers for some of the teen orphans in Ethiopia, and a young boy told his mother he wanted to give away his brand new computer, and she wisely applauded his generosity and let him.
“Come to me as a little child…” Jesus knew the capacity of a child’s heart. They are so innocent and idealistic and think that they “can do.” A can-do spirit? Do I have one? I admit that many times I shirk from a project because it is “too big” or “too expensive” or “I have asked people for so much.” But I am reminded over and over that there is always enough in God’s economy. I should never hold back from giving my little bit and I am challenged to give out of my need. Matthew and the other children mentioned above are my heroes. They are also going to be the leaders of our churches and humanitarian organizations in the not too distant future. I want to join them in never saying no to a need, but will allow God to use me (if He so chooses) to impart vision and allow others to receive the blessings of giving.
Reminds me of what Paul said, "Let no man despise thy youth." How wonderful to hear what these kids are doing for the Lord's work!