Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Giving

I struggle a lot with wanting to give more and give more sacrificially to those around me and those in need. A lot of times, it's "Where do I even start?" There are so many things I'd like to do, and want to do, but can't do right now with 3 small children to raise; there are other things I could do if I didn't use my children as an excuse; I know this and I'm thankful the Holy Spirit is there to convict me when I need it. I know that my primary ministry right now is to raise these 3 children to love Jesus and to teach them along the way by serving others and actually showing them how Jesus lived... and that's still a hard thing to do, especially when they are so young. I use their ages as an excuse sometimes too, when I shouldn't. But my main reason for writing this post is that there are some things that don't take any of my time or effort; well, maybe a few clicks of the mouse, but that's it. This is one of them:



I can't even remember where I read about this ministry to begin with, probably from my friend Tesney, but if you are looking for a way to give and have a heart for mamas and children, please consider sponsoring one of these precious families. This ministry was started by Jerry and Christy Shannon. The ministry offers free daycare for single mothers with children, so that the mothers can find a job, work, and provide for their little ones. I cannot imagine, cannot begin to imagine, what it would be like to have to give up my child because I could not provide for them. Especially having experienced that instant, gratifying love that you receive when you first see your newborn, and how that love only grows and grows as the weeks and months go by... I cannot imagine the grief and pain and guilt some mothers must go through having to give up their precious little ones because of poverty and hunger. This ministry allows mothers to go to work, make money, and keep their families together. They offer nutritious meals for both mom and baby as well as teach them proper hygiene, money management, and life skills. Such a picture of grace and hope. 


Anyway, I've been giving to the program for a while and have mentioned it on Facebook before but never on the blog, and so I thought I'd write about it here too. I receive e-mail updates frequently on the mother and daughter that I sponsor (Mulu and her daughter Hanna) and it makes my heart smile knowing that while I'm not doing everything I want to be doing, or could be doing, I am doing something. (And there is always more to be done.) To give further insight, I received this update not long ago through e-mail:

Mulu has taken the idea of a Micro Grant to heart and run with it!
Approximately 3 months ago we gave her a 600 ETB grant ($36 USD) to start a small business.  She came to us with the idea that she wanted to start making injera (Ethiopian flat bread that is a staple) and selling it.  So, we helped her open a savings account with 100 ETB and then gave her 500 ETB ($30 USD) to use as capital to start the business.
To say that she has done well would be an understatement.  She is a hard worker and very determined which helps a lot.  She also believes in paying her bills and saving.  So, to date not only has she been making money to live off of, but she also now has over 600 ETB in her savings account.
But the money is only a small piece of it.  She is full of dignity and life.  She is proud to be doing business and making it.  She is full of life as she sees something productive coming from her hands – and something that ultimately is of benefit to others too.  She is tapping into a place in her soul that was made by God – a place that was made to work and to give back.
Can $36 change a life?  In the right hands, you bet it can.

These are real people who have real needs and who can be helped tremendously with a SMALL amount of money. And I'll add that Jerry and Christy are also real people; anytime I e-mail them I always get a personal response and they are so grateful for anything that anyone wants to give. 
You can sponsor one family alone or you can go in with 4 of your friends and divide the cost and only pay $34 a month; if you are interested, please visit their website! 
Help give these mamas and their babies a hope and a future. 

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." 
Prov. 24:12

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