Previous Post from Monday, 16 December 2013
There is a certain Christmas song that seems a distant memory now; the lyrics are “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” Oh it is not among the classics like “Hark the Herald Angels”, or “Jingle Bells” or even “Grandma got run over by a Reindeer.” However, it delivers a message of simplicity and a humbled desire for things we take for granted so often.
Recently the children’s ministry of a small church became partners with Give Hope Ministries. They contacted me and asked, what do the orphan children want for Christmas? So, I sent a message to our founder (Willy Ouma) posing this very question. Shortly a list came back associating each child to the gift of their choice.
There, in this list of requests from orphaned children living in a poverty stricken country like Uganda, was a request for…a pencil. A PENCIL?!
Oh there were toys and clothes and other such things, but a pencil? I was set back for a moment. I looked around and figured out that I did not have a pencil myself, I just don’t use them any more. Again I reviewed the list, but the Pencil stuck out in my mind because this child was given no limitations on his request. The Pencil just seemed so insignificant, even compared the other children’s requests.
Puzzled by the request now, I put down my smart phone, laid aside the tablet, printed the list from the computer, and set out to visit with the children at the small church that made the original request to share the results.
On the drive over, I began to think about my perception of Christmas gift requests: in the world of children caught up with the latest craze; the mega whatever; which everyone must have in order to function in society. And now we have a crisis, a child with nothing: no home; no sense of family; little food; difficulty finding clean water; and likely lacking someone who cares… and they are asking for a PENCIL! It makes me wonder if I am just too stuck on the things of this world.
Arriving, I place the list before the children at the church. They inform me the request made perfect sense, maybe a pencil was needed to write a letter to them, or after all the child is learning at the new school and might make some mistakes to erase or needed to express their gratitude about having found hope in Jesus. Maybe with a pencil he could make a bigger list. Or perhaps she just wanted to write a request for a meal.
In the eyes of the children, they could see through the eyes of the orphan child what I could not. The things of our world had not yet fully blotted out the need for the Pencil to these children.
Today we have the technical power to write our ideas, format, translate and send out thoughts in print around the world. Yet, even with all that power, it was a simple device like a pencil that penned the greatest words ever written, the word of GOD. Today, even with all our achievements, we could not have created such an enduring truth as the good news of Christ Jesus.
God GAVE by Jesus Christ his gift, we have been asked to give as well.
So in this time of focused thanks and giving, GIVE HOPE to the children at GIVE HOPE MINISTRIES. We have so much to learn from these children and we can be immensely blessed by our decision to give. Give as it purposes in your heart, as seen in a child’s eye, even if it is just a Pencil.