>Transforming Christmas: One Child at a Time

>So for post #4 of 25 Days of Christmas over at Our Life’s Journey, we are supposed to be giving you a favorite Christmas memory. I am going to give you a memory, an action that changed the course of our family. Turn down the lights and let me set the stage:

It was our first Christmas married. We were in Wake Forest, North Carolina while Matthew was taking classes at Southeastern Seminary and we were all alone. My great grandmother had passed away about two weeks before and we had made an emergency trip home to go to her funeral. With no more vacation time, we were away from family on our first Christmas. Totally alone. I know you’re thinking, “This was supposed to be a good memory wasn’t it?” Patience grasshopper. I’m getting there.

So Christmas morning rolls around and it’s just the two of us, not many gifts and a whole Turkey (we ate the whole thing! Not right away of course…) from Matthew’s kind employers at UPS.

With Christmas being a little bit of a bummer, we started thinking…”Why is this so disappointing? This isn’t what Christmas is supposed to be about anyways!” We always grew up hearing, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” but in reality getting the biggest and best presents was the reason for the season for us!!!”

The more we started thinking (it’s dangerous I know) the more we realized that we wanted it to be about more than us. When trying to put that into action I remembered something I had grown up with my father doing, sponsoring children through Compassion International.

It was something that I had always wanted to do when I grew up and here I was grown up and wanting to make a difference. Shortly after Christmas 2008 we sponsored our first Compassion child, Charles Okalingwa from Uganda. I had visited Uganda the summer before and had fallen in love (more about that some other time) it seemed like the perfect fit.

Now, let’s fast forward to Christmas 2010. Where are we now? We now sponsor 4 children through Compassion and write letters to another. That’s five children whose lives we change. All because we were alone on Christmas.

Do you want to see what they have done to our lives? Entering our house from the side door you would immediately see their pictures above the sink, in the perfect spot to allow us to pray for them as we wash dishes and cook. Walking into the living room somewhere around you would see this huge thing:

What is this? It is our Compassion binder where we keep all of our letters from our children, flat gifts to go out with the letters we send, photo updates and more. Matthew bought this for me for our 2nd anniversary. Wanna take a closer look?

The spine of the binder, which if you can’t read it is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
The back of the binder which has James 1:27, Proverbs 31:8-9, Matthew 28:19-20 and a map of the world with a heart over all of the areas where we sponsor children. Basically, the best gift ever. Even the note on the gift tag was perfect, it said, “On this second year of marriage I am reminded of the great blessing that you are and hope this gift brings you great joy in remembering those we love together.”
Let’s put it this way, my husband rocks and so do our Compassion children. Charles, Victor, Hilda, Ketyada and our Correspondence child Theogene all are part of our Christmas memories and will hopefully continue to be for a long time to come!
Just for giggles, would you like to see my sweet Charles with his chicken that he got with the birthday present we sent him? By the way, it’s also the first time he has smiled in any of the photos that we have! It’s a scanned picture so sorry it’s not clear!

This entry was posted in 25 Days of Christmas, Christmas, Compassion, Family Time. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to >Transforming Christmas: One Child at a Time

  1. Kimmy says:

    >Awww…what a great idea! What a great gift you guys give to those children too. You guys are truly making a difference and see…God was speaking to you that lonely Christmas day! What a blessing!LOVE the picture The chicken is super cute too. I actually had 2 chickens as pets when I was younger so I have a special place in my heart for them :O)Have a wonderful day!

  2. Anonymous says:

    >How wonderful for you. I am sponsoring our first compassion child this year at Christmas as well. I dont know, but I feel so much LOVE for this child. I weep for him so often, tears of joy, to have the chance to know him, and tears of sadness that there is such a thing as poverty, and tears of thanksgiving to GOD that I can hear his voice…just tears for the children. Your children are so cute, and your husband is so wonderful for that priceless gift of that binder. How perfect is that??

  3. >SO Sweet! What a wonderful way to make those children a part of your lives 🙂

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