Posted on Monday, January 2, 2012
in Financial, How To, Relational, Values
This Christmas week was very different. For the first time since we got married we did not travel. We had a great time the 23rd — our Christmas — but the 24th & 25th felt a little empty and lonely.
Don’t get me wrong, we had a peaceful and blessed Christmas week, it was just different than in the past.
If our family and friends depended on me knowing their interests and needs they would never get anything. Whether I’m being frugal or I’m ignorant, I simply don’t know what people like.
Even the people I eat pizza with every month or so I don’t remember their preferences.
I enjoy the presents I get, but, honesty, I almost always enjoy giving more.
Jesus Christ said that when we bless the poor it’s like “you were doing it for me!” 1
I just had to learn how.
A few years ago Steve Peterson and Mark Thompson inspired me to see the value in micro-financing. Opportunity International, one of the micro-financing organizations we support “provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to … people working their way out of poverty in the developing world.”
When I give micro-financing gifts I spread the joy of Christmas around the world.
My favorite presents that I gave weren’t big — $20-$45 — but they helped bring hope:
- In Amy’s name — through Christian Aid — Ronnie Tun in Burma helps people trapped in sex slavery find hope. Ronnie, like my son Josh, worked as a mechanic and has a great heart. I knew Amy would love to support his work in Burma.
- In Josh’s name — through Opportunity International — Rafael Vega Lopez, a Columbian man, could buy additional supplies for his fast food restaurant. Josh likes fast food!
- Tayler is Josh’s's gf. In Tayler’s name — through Kiva — Jane from Kenya could buy some more fish for her fish farm. Tayler cares about the needs of women even across the planet.
- In Shannon’s name — through Kiva — I donated enough money for Cristhian Maricela Garcia of Nicaragua to buy clothing, silver, and cosmetic merchandise for her store. Shannon loves watching people’s prayers get answered and their dreams come true.
Generosity came easier when I realized how blessed I’ve been. I also had to learn to see the needs of others. Then I had to believe — as Seth Gobin wrote in his book Tribes — that “anyone who wants to make a difference can!”
The present I received that I think about the most is the handheld scanner I still can’t figure out.
Amy kinda bought herself a present for Christmas. She bought The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess game for the Wii. It’s funny how much she loves that game!
How about you?
Did you get to give any presents you were excited to give?
Get any gifts that you’re excited that you got?
1 – Matthew 25:40