Treasu(red)

Just over 3 years ago, Grandma Lei Lei decided that all three grandchildren would wear outfits from the Gap RED campaign for their Christmas card picture.  Gap RED seeks to source the material and work force in Africa in order to help women and children affected by AIDS.

BLAST FROM THE PAST!!!!!!!!

So, when Matt got Drew dressed this morning and he came out in this….

…..it seemed rather appropriate.

I have been wanting to sponsor a child as a family for awhile now.  It seems like Alex is getting old enough to to start discussions about what it means to be a neighbor in a global sense.  A tough concept and yet one that is so crucial to the gospel.   In my rare moments of adult reading time, I’m super excited (and nervous for the implications!) to read Mark Labberton’s new book, The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor.    One of my favorite singers, Sara Groves, is in town tonight singing at a conference looking at this topic of injustice.  I had hoped to go, but sometimes, I’m sane enough to realize that I’m in a season which requires staying closer to home.  She wrote this about Mark’s book, though, and I love the observation:

The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor asks important questions, deeper questions we may not have thought to ask yet in our pursuit of justice, and ones that will take a lifetime to answer. We say we want justice, but our self-centric hearts betray us. So how do we override our hearts? This book opened my eyes to the difference between doing something and becoming someone–a person of justice, reoriented to the heart of Jesus.”

So, in an attempt to start the conversation about neighbor, I had hopes that by sponsoring a child through Children of Grace, Alex could put a literal face and story to the concept of neighbor.  Alex LOVES his neighbors, whether it was Myrna back at camp or now living next to Jeannie.   {might help that both spoil him rotten with treats and toys…hmm….}  But to get the concept that God calls us to love our neighbor as ourself and the fact that those neighbors include people on the other side of the world??  Well, that’s just hard to grasp and fathom as adults, let alone as a preschooler.  By sponsoring a child, one whom we can write to, hear back from, send pictures, and form a relationship across the miles, it is my prayer that Alex, and our family as a whole, can start to grasp “the dangerous act of loving our neighbor” in a new way.

photos from the anderson family crew blog…well worth a read…

 

So, one afternoon last week, Alex and I sat down with the Children of Grace website.  The story behind Children of Grace is amazing and their mission {to offer hope to Ugandan AIDS orphans through education, healthcare and empowerment programs to enable a better future} is grounded.  Many of my friends have gone on trips to Uganda through Children of Grace, and my dear friends even ended up adopting a Ugandan teenager due to their experience.

When I showed Alex the page of children and started telling him the stories behind each one, he immediately chose Nicholas.  I encouraged him to really look at each of the boys before deciding so quickly, but he was resolute and insistent.  Later, he explained that Nicholas is in Veggie Tales and that’s why he chose him.  Excellent reasoning.

Anyhow, our packet arrived on Thursday with a picture of Nicholas….and so,  he’s now prominently displayed on the Happy Wall.

….and Alex is really excited.  He already asked to have a playdate with him….

 

It’s my hope that just as much as this sweet picture of Leila and Alex displays how much she treasures my bunnies…

….that Nicholas will feel that same embrace and love in the midst of some unfathomable family dynamics.  Even if that hug is coming from around the globe.  May it be an embrace that whispers, “You are treasured….you are valued…..you are loved…..you are not forgotten.”  And most importantly, I hope that Alex (and the rest of us Goughs) can see how much God is already working in Nicholas’ life and how much we have to learn from him.

 

‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul,

and with all your mind,

and with all your strength.”

The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

There is no other commandment greater than these.’

Mark 12:30-31

2 thoughts on “Treasu(red)

  1. Amen! To all of the above blog! I, too, have a 14 year old girl in Honduras that I’ve been supporting since she was 6. I hear often from her and you will be so blessed to know that you are making a significant contribution to her life through prayer and financially. I truly enjoy your blogs and they bring back so m any memories; like the celebration we had when both Scott and Michael were finally out of diapers(17 months age difference). That was BEFORE disposable diapers…you can imagine…constant rinsing out diapers in the toilet; refreshing the diaper pail; praying(literally) that all those diapers hanging on the clothes rack over the floor heater on a rainy day would dry before you needed them. Oh yes, Christine, I really think you have a terrific talent for description! You don’t need to email me I will put the Blog address in my list of addresses. Your boys are absolutely adorable!! Much love, Aunt Linda

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