as we prepared for our last trip to the village of hope, i received a call from a friend telling me her child wanted to come by my work and donate her own money toward our fundraising. that child’s name is joy and this is the story of her gift.
all of the first grade students at mcgowen elementary (among many others, i presume) received $1 each as part of the rachel’s challenge project. the children were challenged to ‘do good’…
at the bottom of the letter it says, Do something good. Do something great. Do something!
a dollar is a big deal to a first grader. well, to just about any kid. so to be told to do something with it (give it away?) is probably an even bigger deal. so what would joy do with her dollar?
to help educate the ‘kids here’ about the ‘kids there’ and what their offering money helps to accomplish, my husband came to promiseland one sunday to talk about the village and answer questions.
i was in the back and i recognized quite a few of the kids there, including joy.
apparently, she’s been giving her very own money to the village of hope through promiseland for a while, which was later a surprise to her parents. she did it all on her own out of very big heart.
so… armed with this new dollar bill from her school, joy decides she wants to give to the village of hope, through donating it to our trip there. but at one point, she decided that $1 wasn’t enough and she sat down to count out some of her own money. in quarters.
it got ziplocked up (but not after she got her mom to give some quarters of her own!) and hand delivered to me.
there was a moment where she thought about taking some of it back, but in the end gave all of her intended gift.
her mom prepped me before the visit so i knew what was up. good thing – or i would have blubbered all over the place. but i at least held it together until after they left. i couldn’t stop hugging her though.
and perhaps it was my excitement at her gift, perhaps she experienced that true and lovely blessing God provides when we give of ourselves and our possessions, but there was talk of her wanting to give even more.
the baggie containing a one dollar bill and nineteen dollars in quarters helped pay for our trip to see the children where they began to learn to knit, learned to trust us more, and even shared some of their stories. we discipled them, loved on them, ate and slept with them. we showed them God’s love and talked to them about how to honor him. we poured ourselves out for them.
it seems joy’s gift went a long way. all the way to africa and back.
it also went deep. into my heart, scattering seeds of generosity and child-like faith. maybe it will make it into yours, too.
i hope mcgowen elementary knows where that dollar went and how it grew into something good. something great. Something!!
and i hope God blesses the little girl who gave what she had – away – to help others.