A few weeks ago the fair was here in town and of course all of our kids wanted to go. Jacob, Megan and Kaylee all ask if we could go to the fair at different times during the ten days it was here in town. My response was the same to each of them when they wanted to know if we could go. I explained to them that taking our family to the fair would cost around $150.00 and that I thought that money could be used for something far more important than a few hours of fun for our family.
Now our family is all into fun and we love to have a good time but I really want to continue to capture our kids hearts and remind them of where and how we spent our summer. While in Ethiopia this summer we had many family times of talking about how blessed we are and how much we could do without. How much money we spend on pleasure when people around the world are starving, homeless and fatherless was often the center of our conversations while living in Addis for six weeks. I have been so thankful that since our return I can see a marked difference in each of our children in the way they view life but as time goes by I want to continue to keep fresh in their minds what we experienced and more than what we experienced what kids their age are facing each day around the world as they live their comfortable lives here in America.
I decided that we needed to spend this same amount of money we would spend at the fair on something that could transform a life half way around the world. I was unsure of what that would be but I trusted that God would give me a chance to share with our kids what $150.00 was able to do other than take our family to the county fair for a few hours. Of course within a few days we found out about a need and we were able to give to fulfill that need.
Nicco contacted us the week after our kids had been asking to go to the fair and shared with us that Welde (Tia and Garrett's brother) had decided that he would like to attend school yet he had no way to pay for his education, housing and supplies. He has been a fisherman for several years but really wants to be able to do more with his life than just fish and he had shared his desire to return to school with Nicco. We of course wanted to help Welde get an education and so we questioned Nicco on the cost to help Welde get registered to attend school.
Nicco thought that it would cost about $100.00 to $150.00 per year to enroll him into school, provide a room for him (off of the island because school only goes to 4th grade on the island), 2 uniforms and school supplies. I was so excited to think that we could send our "fair" money to Welde and allow him to have an education for an entire year verses a few hours of entertainment for our family. I couldn't wait to tell my kids!
Our kids didn't think that it was unfair to not get to attend the fair when they found out that Tia and Garrett's brother could go to school for a year on the same amount of money that it would cost us for an evening of fun. Instead they were very excited to know that we as a family were investing in our extended family half way around the world! I am so thankful that they were able to experience what they experienced this summer.
I spoke to Nicco late last week to find out that he had received the money for Welde's education and that it was enough not only for Welde but for two of Tia and Garrett's sisters as well. The three of them are now attending school each day and being prepared for their future. I couldn't wait for the kids to get home from school last Thursday so I could share that our "fair" money was providing so much more than we even first thought- Life is not always fair but when we give Life is always sweeter!
Next time you start to spend $100.00 on something for entertainment, pleasure or self- indulgence I hope that you will stop and think about what a blessing it could be to someone who has so much less than you and I challenge you to give it away- I promise life will be sweeter!