It is almost becoming cliche' to say that Thanksgiving and Christmas should be about giving to others.
I believe it when I hear it, but am I really living it? How many times has, "let's have a small Christmas this year," turned into another huge pile of presents around the tree?
Prior to Thanksgiving, our church planned to be an assembly site for Kids Against Hunger. Not only did 400 people sign up to spend their Thanksgiving morning packaging food for hungry people, but our church also sent home samples of the food packs for families to "fast" from our American diets prior to turkey day.
One packet of food provides a nutritious meal for six people and only needs hot water to prepare it. Before I served it for dinner, I wanted my kids to watch the videos on the Kids Against Hunger website so they could know WHY we were doing this and who the food really goes to.
And for them to peek out of their little American window and see how much of the world has very basic needs that are not met.
They all huddled around my computer to watch, but The Hunter quickly began walking away. When I told him to
get his butt back here come join us please, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "I can't Mom. It is just too sad."
I can't wait to take that boy out into the world someday soon. I hope my 2006 trip to Russia was just the tip of a big family iceberg.
The dinner was actually pretty comparable to what is normally served around here.
We liked it, so it wasn't much of a sacrifice to eat it. But it was a great reminder and discussion starter for our family to think about others who are hungry, cold, or even lonely.
Our church is currently exploring a partnership with an organization working in Africa. My friend Amy sent me this video of a little glimpse of what is waiting there.
Russia just opened my eyes and my heart. I want them to stay open and focused on the needs of others.