Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

When I had the idea of giving away a Christmas box for missionary ladies, I just thought it would be a fun little blessing for somebody else. I thought it might brighten someone's day or be just the thing to encourage somebody through some tough days.
I had no idea it would be such a blessing to me.
Since that post I've had several people contact me with questions about encouraging missionary ladies, some pastors' wives check out ideas for their own missionaries, a few missionaries mention that they want to do the same giveaway while in the States on furlough, and read two excellent articles here and here about what a missionary faces in culture shock and how gifts can be such a blessing.
It has thrilled me to see how God uses small things to create a domino effect. A simple word spoken, a note written, a text sent, a phone call made, and even an envelope or box with some little goodies can be both a blessing to the giver and the receiver!
I think I speak for all us missionary mamas when I say it's not really about the things, it's the fact that somebody far away took time and made the effort to show us that we are loved, thought of, and prayed for. That goes a long way in encouraging a discouraged soul.
When I was growing up, our family tried to do a special project between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. We would find some way to "give Jesus a birthday gift." Often times it was taking a food basket to someone in need, at other times it was dropping off money to help pay for a heating or electric bill. As I think back over my growing up years, I remember very few of the gifts I received, but I do remember quite a few times when we gave to others. We have since tried to incorporate that into our own family. And guess what? that's what my own children are remembering now, too.
Whether you are overseas or in the good ol' U.S.A., whether you are a missionary or not, as we head into this holiday season, all of us can do something to be a blessing to somebody.
I'd love to hear...what birthday gift are you giving Jesus this year?

1 comment:

  1. When I was in Bible college an older grandma type missionary from Africa came to school for one semester. She had been serving with her husband for over thrity years.

    I took her Walmart. She was trying to figure out if her money could stretch enough to buy some shirts for her husband. While we browsed I caught her admiring some soft, fluffy pink towel. She stroked them.

    I thought she would buy them but she sheepishly explained that her husband needed shirts more than she needed towels.

    I got to know her well that term. Sometimes, I brought up those towels. She loved them and admitted to never owning such thick pretty towels. She lived on a shoestring. She said the towels would be a waste since in Africa pink towels woul turn brown anyway.
    Then, I had a call from a friend in VA. She had heard me talk about those pink towels. She explaned that every year her family gave a gift to Jesus too.
    She sent the money for those pink fluffy towels, and wash clothes and bubbles.
    I will never that dear missionary's tears of joy at her most unpractical gift.