Sunday, January 18, 2009

Casting off for a Cause

I spent a good part of Saturday and Sunday preparing for our offering on Monday for our crisis victims. I went through almost every area of our home looking for anything that we don't need and that's still in good condition. The trunk of my car is full, as well as the front seat and one of the back seats. I have just enough room in the car to get the boys to school in the morning.

It was actually a fun exercise in removing things that we don't really need. In fact, my eye is now trained to look for anything in excess and to weed it out.

When I first moved to Nigeria, I unpacked my 4 boxes and the house still looked empty. Now, 13 years and 4 family members later, the house has a lot of excess stuff.

I tried to work with the boys on getting rid of some of their toys, but I wasn't very effective. All it basically came down to was me throwing away bits of broken toys and organizing some of the toys with many pieces. I'm still searching for a way to get them to understand the need to give to others who don't have.

Two months ago I removed all of their Duplos while they were sleeping. Later I passed them on to a new missionary family who doesn't have many toys. None of the kids has ever mentioned anything about the missing toys. But the point is not for me to be sneaky; I want them to learn how to relinquish possessions.

Parting with their clothes is much easier for them. A few days ago David and I went through all of his shirts, and he gave away 1/4 of them. It was a pretty simple process. First we counted all of his shirts, figured out 1/4, then he gave a 'yes' or a 'no' to each shirt until he had the right amount.

It's very easy to find homes for items we no longer want in Nigeria. I know that can be a struggle in the U.S., but here it's pure joy both for the giver and the receiver.

I'm looking forward to our most unusual offering tomorrow! I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Wallestads said...

It's easy to accumulate "stuff," isn't it? We spent a whole day organizing, storing, and boxing up toys to donate after Christmas. We have decided that for every new toy Evan receives, he will have to choose something to give away. The sheer volume of plastic in our basement right now is mind-boggling. If you have success in creating a giving spirit in your kiddos, we'll be looking for pointers!