For the past few Monday nights, after we get dinner on the table, we’ve been opening up a little cardboard box called “Step Into My Shoes”.
We’ve met a Pastor Tom and Momma Nancy, along with their 12 children. They live in Uganda and they’ve been teaching us, via DVD, about what it means to have enough. The first week we watched how they take plastic bags and fibers from the banana tree to make a soccer ball… and then we made one of our own. Last week we watched them roast ears of corn on the fire while they sang and prayed together. As a family we talked about belonging and about the ways that we are the same and different than Pastor Tom and Nancy’s family. Through the next sessions, we’ll learn how they gather water, how they prepare food, how they find safety as they sleep, how they travel to school and how they worship.
“With our busy lives, we sometimes need a story that reminds that simplicity leads to joy and the opposite of poverty is not wealth, it’s finding God is enough. As we discover God’s purposes and provisions for us, our families and our world, we live blessed to be a blessing.”– Compassion International
Two weeks after I came home from Haiti, I found myself in Louisville, Kentucky at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International conference. I had responded to an email invitation from Compassion International for a luncheon they were serving during the conference. When a beautiful girl named Olive stood up and started speaking with confidence and poise, I sat in rapt attention as the stories came tumbling off her lips.
She herself had once been a Compassion Child. She was from Africa, living through wars and unspeakable tragedy. She told of her disappointment when she was told she could not go to school, how she had followed her grandmother to the fields on the first day, thinking of all her cousins and friends as they went without her. She told of her excitement to get home and hear all about it and the confusion when it turned dark and they still hadn’t returned. And then she shared her horror when they realized that during the day rebel soldiers had come to the school and had taken every child. By God’s grace she had been spared. She grew up with hope, knowing Jesus. She spoke of a family from Australia who supported her through Compassion for years after her mother died of AIDS. She gets to meet them this winter, 20 years later. It was the only time during her talk that she cried.
It was unbelievable. With my own stories from Haiti freshly in my heart, I knew that God was showing me again the pain in the world.
At the end of the luncheon, we were handed a box and an invitation. An invitation to shift our focus from to-do lists and busy schedules to “living from God’s enough”. Step Into My Shoes is a 7-step walk in the footsteps of Pastor Tom and Nancy. As we’ve been “slipping on their shoes” each week, we’ve been looking at how Scripture calls us to follow Jesus. For our family, this is a practical way we can see the world through God’s eyes. It’s another piece in the puzzle as we help our kids form the way they see the world. And let me tell you, the conversations we have been having and the ways that I see my kids processing poverty makes my heart burst. This is the stuff that matters in life.
Would you like to request a box for your family? It’s totally free– a gift from Compassion International, no matter if you sponsor a child or not.