Last weekend I took my kids to see Newsboys in concert. They are one of our favorite groups and we ended up with amazing tickets. We sat in the front row and got to participate in a question and answer session before the show with the band. My kids had a blast and it is definitely one of those times we will remember for a long time.
After the opening acts played, before the Newsboys came out on stage, a gentleman came out and began to tell a story. He told us about a recent trip to Haiti he had made and his visit to a small family home. The home had no floor, just dirt. The home had no roof, just open sky. The home had no beds. The four children slept on the floor. This man marveled to his guide as to how well behaved the four children were (ranging in age from 18 months to 13 years) and he asked if he could meet their parents. His guide explained that this situation – a child-headed household – was very common in Haiti. The 13-year-old boy was responsible for taking care of his three younger siblings since their parents’ death. The gentleman then offered the audience an opportunity to adopt a child in a similar situation through an organization called ChildFund International. He had hundreds of envelopes he was prepared to hand out, each one containing the information about a child like those he spoke of who could benefit from a monthly donation of $33 a month. The price of a pizza delivery.
As an adult I think it’s easy to feel a bit disconnected from these stories. There are so many horrible things that happen in the world, that’s it’s hard to see how anything you could do to help could even make a difference. Plus we all have our own challenges and struggles. So I listened to the story and I was thankful. Thankful that I was there for my kids and am able to provide them with everything they need, plus some things that they don’t, to be able to enjoy life to the fullest. And I left it at that.
But my 8-year-old daughter, she listened to the story and took something very different from it. She listened and didn’t feel blessed to not be in that situation. In fact, she didn’t think about herself at all. She listened and was inspired to act. She asked if we could get an envelop to help a child. In fact, she couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t take an envelope. She didn’t understand why everyone wasn’t committing the cost of a pizza to help a child. One child who may not have enough food or water, let alone a bed. And so in that in moment, she taught me a lesson. She taught me that ONE matters. One decision. One commitment to change a childhood. It’s great to thank God for the blessings you have, but my 8-year-old taught me that the truest way to show your appreciation for what you have is to use those blessings to help someone else.
So we took one of the envelopes and I put $33 in it and returned it to one of the ChildFund representatives. We made a $33 a month commitment to help a 5-year-old girl in Mozambique.
My daughter will have the opportunity to write letters to Ayana and send photos and I look forward to seeing how my daughter’s compassion will impact another child’s life.