sending goats for christmas

i saw this on ashley's blog a few weeks ago. i was so inspired by her wisdom to give her kids the opportunity to choose to serve others, even if it meant a personal sacrifice for them. i silently prayed i could help my kids catch the same vision.

when our catalogue came this week, i set aside time with the boys while emery was sleeping. they poured over each page and we read each description. we read how a single goat can sustain a family with food and income. how $7 can feed a child for a week or $40 can feed an orphan for a month including medicine and a place to live. we talked about sister. how much we love her and how painful it is to think about a time when she didn't have a family. we spoke with passion. they got it. they soaked in every word. we talked about what it would be like to not have a house or food or shoes. we talked about how hard it would be if our family was hungry and had to drink dirty water.
we've talked about those things before, but seeing a tangible way to help made a big difference. they wanted to know everything about everything. .

i let them circle anything they wanted to give

and we talked about what giving those things would mean to us...what it would mean at Christmas time this year....it would mean less for us and more for someone else.
"ok, mommy. no problem."
back to circling.

they have been riveted over the past year at the thought of kids drinking dirty water, and often ask me if they can give their allowance to help build a well. when we came to the page showing well digging, they were stoked. since a well costs around $10,000, Samaritan's Purse offers a "share" option for a mere $40. that page got a lot of really big circles.

in the end, when i added up all of the shoes and clean water and food and medical supplies and housing supplies and goats and sheep and chickens, etc, it was well over what we ever spend for christmas gifts. and i mean WAY over.
in fact, if i'm honest, the number made me question whether or not i wanted to follow through.

and then foster said, "when can we go take the clean water? how do we goats get there? do we need tools to help build the houses?"

i instantly got that strange gut cry...the one that makes my whole body fill with happy sobs.

it was a beautiful moment.

i said, "right now, we can help by sending money to purchase the goats and supplies and other people will have the honor of giving them to the people in need. but when you get a bit older, you can be the one to go! you can go take clean water and goats and chickens and medicine!!"

foster: "did you hear that rowan?? when we get bigger, we can go! yay!!! we get to go!! lets pretend we are on the airplane right now!"

and off they went. pretending to save the world.
the incredible thing is...they actually can.


  1. That is wonderful! I think we may do that this year too! Great idea!



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