Thursday, December 1, 2011


It's officially December.  The month we celebrate Immanuel - God WITH us.  The entrance of our Savior into the world.  What I love about the way God sent his son into the world is how simple it all was.  While there were great multitudes of angels celebrating His arrival, a handful of shepherds and three kings who traveled far to witness God incarnate,...the King of Kings made His entrance in a manger without fanfare. This is so symbolic of the humility and selflessness which would define His life (and should define ours as well). 

We celebrate Christmas because we celebrate the extravagant love of God, who sent us the most amazing, costly gift of His son.  The Creator of the universe modeled for us in an extraordinary way what it means to give.  God held nothing back.  He gave what was most precious to Him - His son. 

And we give too, when we celebrate Christmas.  In fact, we spend 450 BILLION dollars on Christmas.  That's a lot of giving.  But WHAT are we giving??  Do you know it would only take 10 billion dollars to solve the water crisis in the world?  There's just a little perspective.

A few weeks ago I asked my kids what they wanted for Christmas.  You should have heard the crickets in the room.  " don't really know". There you have it, folks.  My kids couldn't even tell me ONE thing they wanted for Christmas.  Know why?  Because they have SO ridiculously much and half of it they don't even use or remember that they have.  How sick is that? And yet, we are actually thinking about buying them more??

Something MUST give here, friends.  I say this for myself as well as for anyone else who can understand my heart here.  This Christmas, my kids are each getting 3 gifts - something to wear, something to play with and something to read.  The days of buying more stuff for the sake of buying more stuff are over.

Two months ago I watched children scavenging in a trash dump for food in Ethiopia.  I saw a 6x8 room where 7 people slept with one make shift bed.  I no longer have the audacity to say that I need anything. Or that my children do.  How about we take that 450 BILLION dollars we spend every year on Christmas (forgive me, but that figure makes my stomach churn) and give it to people who actually need something.  Those people are in our cities and around our world. 

I put my 6 year old adopted son from Ethiopia to bed tonight and he prayed this: "Dear God, please help the kids in Africa all have mommies and daddies like I do. And please help them have food to eat and clothes to wear.  And let them be happy like I am."  This coming from my child who weighed 20 pounds when he was 4 years old and suffered from extreme malnourishment.  This coming from my child who went without clothing.  He knows what a real need is.  He has lived it.  I can't tell you how humbling it is to be taught by my own child who has lived through and survived circumstances I could never in a million years imagine.  My child gets what a true heart of generosity looks like.  If there's a need and it's in our ability to meet it, then we should.  It's that simple.  Why wouldn't we?

And this Christmas, I have a practical way that you can be involved in doing just that.  A way that will provide dignity for a child and give them opportunities for education.

To go to school in Korah (Ethiopia), you need to have a school uniform.  I actually heard stories of families not sending their children to school because they couldn't afford the small (in our eyes) school fees and/or the uniforms.  Can you imagine that being a reason for our kids not to attend school??  It's completely unacceptable.  Most of the children I met there had one set of clothing to their name.  I'm not sure that any of the clothes actually fit the kids.  They just wear what they can find, be it too big or too little.  Because of the expense of a school uniform (on average $28 per uniform), most kids are wearing their uniforms from a year or two ago if they have one at all.  And that one uniform is worn every day all day.  You can imagine how tattered and dirty they become. 

This Christmas, I would LOVE to raise enough money for each of the 60 kids in the Hands for the Needy program in Korah to get a new school uniform.  That's $28 per uniform.  $28 to give a child dignity and opportunity for education. 

Will you join me in generously giving to these kids who truly know what need is? I think it would be so amazing for me to be able to tell my son that God answered his prayers and gave some kids in Africa clothes.  These lessons in God's provision are invaluable for our children.  And for us. :)

I believe there are more than enough readers of my blog to cover this need.  All we need is for 60 of you to step up and give $28 to provide a uniform.  We need a total of $1650.  That may seem like a lot of money, but if we all help, it can be done. 

What I haven't told you yet is how I was going to do a campaign for new shoes for the kids in Korah, but before I could write the blog post, the $900 was funded.  Then today, I was going to change directions and raise money for medical care for the kids since the shoes were funded, but before I could write the blog post, the $750 for medical care was completely funded.  My jaw has been on the ground all day long.  We have four fundraising projects going on right now for specific things and 2 of the 4 have been covered without having to ask anyone to get involved.  AMAZING. The only thing left on the list of four things after the uniforms are funded is a washing machine so that they can be washed efficiently and well.  Perhaps we can raise the money for the uniforms AND the washing machine (an additional $875)???  God LOVES these kids so much and is providing for their needs through people like you who are willing to sacrifice on their behalf. 

I would love to see this money raised by Christmas.  It can happen.  If my son can raise $5,000 for a water well in Africa in one week, we can certainly knock out these uniforms that cost $1650 in one month!

So here's how to do it:

1) Go to

2) Follow the directions on the page to give.

3) Be SURE to put “ET3008000″ in the Reference Number Field so the money is designated properly.

4) If you would like to put "uniforms" in the "Notes" field that would be helpful as well.

Five minutes of your time, twenty-eight of your dollars = a significant impact in the life of a child.  Education is life in Africa and you can literally help give a child a chance at a future they deserve for a mere $28.  Now THAT is a gift.  Thanks for considering this and for helping to spread the word.  Can't wait to post pictures of the kids in their new uniforms thanks to YOU! I'll keep you posted on the progress we make! Thank you, thank you, thank you for joining me on this adventure of learning what real need looks like and for helping to change the story for these kids in Ethiopia.  Giving is so beautiful.


  1. I love seeing my Father's heart shining right through yours! Count me in and Merry Christmas to your beautiful family Amy.

  2. You can count us in! I'm so thankful for your obedience to God!