The Gift of Giving

What if we wanted to be beautiful more than we wanted to buy beautiful?

Ann Voskamp’s words jump off the page and hit me in the face. She’s talking about her trip to South America with Compassion International. Her descriptions are familiar to me – because I’ve seen a little of the way people live in Costa Rica. Although I was in a middle class area of Carrillos, I seemed filthy rich compared to them.

She describes a magazine ad of a model in expensive clothes standing in the dirt streets of a South American village. That doesn’t match reality. The model would never wear $500 shoes in the dirt – and no one from that village would ever buy those flimsy clothes. There’s a disconnect here.

What if we wanted to be beautiful more than we wanted to buy beautiful?

Ann is talking about being thankful. Being thankful and grateful for what God has given us makes us more beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful than love – Christ’s love for us, in us, and through us. When we show God’s love and bless others, we are beautiful because we are being like Him.

My family has always had strong connections to child sponsorship. My grandparents supported a young man named Richard (from Uganda, I believe) for years. Even after he was out of the program they helped with his university education and kept in contact with Richard until they died. My parents still email with him.  I grew up with Naomi’s (also from Uganda) picture on our fridge. After she graduated, we got Soamy. Soamy is beautiful, sweet little hispanic girl, and I’m sorry that I can’t remember which country she is from. Guatemala? Honduras? El Salvador. I can’t recall.

After reading Ann’s descriptions, I felt convicted enough to visit Compassion Int’l and sponsor my own child. I originally thought I would pick a little girl – but when I looked through the children from Central & South America who had been waiting the longest – there were no girls. There were only boys. Carlos is from Honduras. He is 5 years old, and he had been waiting 261 days for a sponsor. He is beautiful and precious, and I can’t wait to send him letters.

If you’re interested, you can sponsor your own child here.

This is just one cause that I am an advocate for – maybe you volunteer to raise awareness for cancer or work in a crisis pregnancy center. Perhaps you are a special ed teacher or work in prisons. All of those are ways that we are beautiful: full of Christ’s love for those around us.

What if we wanted to be beautiful more than we wanted to buy beautiful?

The $40 commitment to sponsoring a child is such a small sacrifice in comparison to the blessing it will be to Carlos and his family. Doing that is so much rewarding than the money I spent to replace my flat iron – or on that new sweater, replacement boots, new facial scrub, new eyeliner, and more. Buying beauty? It doesn’t bring me half the excitement and joy that sending money to Carlos does.

No, I’m not doing it because it “makes me feel good.” But I am thankful that the joy we experience through ministry it is just one way that God blesses us. And that’s a pretty awesome thing to be thankful for. :)

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One thought on “The Gift of Giving

  1. Did we tell you we just got another new child to sponsor when we went to the Getty concert? Alex is 6 and from Peru. Jon and Lydia picked him because,like you, we wanted a child that had been waiting a long time for a sponsor.

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