A year ago, we received this amazing letter from one of our donors. Check out what Amy’s three girls did to be able to follow God’s lead to give, and how “the faith of a child is more powerful than the ‘logic’ of a parent.”
Today’s challenge: Give up something and use that money to bring joy to someone else.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” —Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
A letter to World Vision
Dear World Vision,
This year I decided to get my three daughters involved in giving. We have always donated to multiple charities, but it has always been as easy as Mom or Dad writing the check. I didn’t feel like they learned much about WHY they were helping people who were less fortunate than themselves.
I got the World Vision Gift Catalog in the mail and I sat down with my three girls — ages 10, 7 & 5. We curled up together and looked through the catalog and I read each gift to them and explained how each would benefit others. It was my intention that they would choose a couple goats or a cow or something like that.
However, God works in mysterious awesome ways! I got to page 7 with the 28 farm animals. I considered skipping it altogether because all I could see was the $2,000, knowing full well we couldn’t afford to give that much. BUT…I read it anyways. My 7-year-old, MaKenna, who has been saving all her money in the “Disney Jar” to go to Disney World, said, “MOM— this is it!!”
I said, “MaKenna, I love that you are so energetic but I do not have that much to give.” She instantly said, “Mom, we don’t need to go to Disney World…THESE PEOPLE NEED US!!” Melt my heart.
But, still stuck on the dollar amount, I suggested that we continue to look through the book and see if there is anything else that they think is right for them. We got to the end of the catalog, and all three of them agreed it was the 28 farm animals that they were feeling led to donate. I was about to deter them, but the verse in Matthew 19:26 came to mind: “With God ALL things are possible.” This is something I have embedded into my children’s hearts since the day they were each born. I asked them to pray about it, and if they still felt led to do it, we would discuss how we could attain this GIANT goal.
After two minutes, all three came back and said they were POSITIVE this is what God had wanted for them to do. So we talked about what we could do to raise the money. Immediately they called their grandparents, aunts & uncles. In a matter of three weeks we had a bake sale; we spoke about it at the local Senior Meals supper; went door to door on our street; I posted it on Facebook; and we emailed our friends & family and spoke in church to our church family. I tried to prepare [my daughters’] little hearts just in case they didn’t reach the GIANT goal.
But they were so certain they would have no problem. I was amazed more and more every day as I opened the mail and money was pouring in with notes of encouragement. People were dropping by the house with money. The girls would bring money home from school from their friends’ parents. The church members gave generously. Our hair dresser donated and told her other customers about it. It was the talk of our sweet small town of 1,500 people! In the four weeks the girls have been raising money, they raised a total of $4,487.19. Not only did they reach the GIANT goal; they doubled it, and then some. I am so very proud of these three blessings who worked so hard to help others out. It has made a big impact on them, on their dad and I, on our family and our community. It has definitely raised awareness of [World Vision], too!
May our AWESOME…even more MIGHTY…bigger than any “giant goal” we could possibly imagine GOD, bless everyone who is being touched by these gifts. It goes to show the faith of a child is more powerful than the “logic” of a parent.
In Christ’s love,
Joel & Amy Swanson (proud parents of Kylee, MaKenna & Gracyn Swanson)
At the top: Kylee, MaKenna, and Gracyn (Photo: Amy Swanson)
A gift of 13 small farm animals can save families from hunger! With this life-changing gift of 10 ducks, 2 chickens, and 1 rabbit, you’ll provide nutritious food for years to come. As the animals multiply, families can sell surplus food for extra income. A bountiful and enduring blessing!