Today was another very full day here in Ethiopia. We had promised all six kids that one Saturday while here in Addis we would take a day to do some shopping. For Megan, Kaylee, Jacob, and Lindsay this included finding something special for several of their close friends and for Tia and Garrett it would be a day of purchasing a few things to take home to America to help them remember Ethiopia.
We all eight piled into the van and the four oldest each had a list of close friends and a few ideas of what to get for them. They were all so excited to finally get to purchase a few things to take home to their friends and family back in the states. As we started away from the Guest Home in the van, David and I started talking about the amount of birr (Ethiopian money) that we would give to each of them and we were instructing them on using it wisely. David handed out some of the birr and we noticed that Garrett quickly placed all of his money in his pocket without even counting it. We kind of expected him to put it in his pocket quickly because we have seen him do that with the change and corkies each day. What we didn’t anticipate was what he said next. He looked up to the front of the van and in Amharic he said to our driver, ” I don’t want to spend this birr for me, I just want it for Werke.”
Werke is Garrett’s birth mom and he knows of her great need. I am sure he has seen her very hungry and not eat so that he could be fed. He has probably heard her speak of wishing she had birr to provide for her family. He himself has felt what great need his birth family has endured and he will not forget the great need that remains on the island he called home for the first four years of his life.
Our precious son had birr that was for the purpose of purchasing a few things to bring with him to America, yet he only wanted to take care of the needs of others. David and I quickly explained to Garrett that we would make sure that Werke and his siblings on the island were well taken care of. We explained that God had given us enough to share with Werke and her other children and that we knew that God was calling our family to take care of them. We assured Garrett that he could spend the birr on himself and that we would still have birr to help his birth family.
Of course another round of tears for David and I as we heard our caring son thinking of others far above himself. Our prayer is that we as Garrett’s parents can help him keep a heart of giving. That many years from now the generosity of this little boy, who knows what it feels like to have nothing, would be all grown up giving to those who find themselves with nothing. Our son is very special and we pray that God would use him as only He can to change this world.
Garrett’s actions the past two days have remind me of Acts 20:35. It truly is more of a blessing to give than receive. In your life today are you doing more giving or receiving? Are you thinking of others before yourself or making your life comfortable? There is great need around me here in Ethiopia……..I can look out my bedroom window and literally see several street boys washing shoes in order to have a meal today. They have no place to call home, no mom, no dad and my heart hurts for them. So many of you sit in your cool (I hear it is SUPER hot there) home and receive the comforts of your life……..what blessing are you missing from not giving to the least of these? I hope and pray that our precious Garrett will help change your heart and life as much as he is changing ours. A child who has had nothing knows that the words of our Heavenly Father are so true……..do you believe this truth?
It is more blessed to give than to receive!