Saturday, December 17, 2011

The spirit of giving

This Christmas season I’ve been especially impacted by the spirit of giving – but in two totally different ways.

Last week one of our resident moms bounded up the steps to the office and presented the staff with a bouquet of roses. She wanted to thank us for everything we’ve done for her and her two young children. Your first thought may be, “Why in the world is she spending money on flowers when she doesn’t even have a home of her own?”

This amazing young woman has achieved so much since coming to Hope Alive. She’s maintaining her budget with controlled spending. She’s reducing her debt and is saving for her family’s future which qualified her for a vehicle from Second Chance Garage. She’s working as a substitute teacher and will earn an associates degree in 2012. She’s shown spiritual growth and maturity and is a godly role model for her peers. She and her children will graduate from the Hope Alive program next spring and live on their own for the first time in their lives. So, her giving in this way was not a foolish waste of money, but a loving expression of her gratitude that encourages the staff and makes her feel even more loved and valued.

I’ve also been impacted by the overwhelming spirit of giving from the community. Like every other Christmas, we’ve been inundated with gifts from generous individuals and groups who want our families to know they are surrounded by a community who loves and cares for them.

But there was one wrapped gift that arrived that I can’t stop thinking about. (If any gifts are delivered wrapped, we unwrap them to verify the contents and make sure they go to the right family.) One such gift was a pair of fashion boots. They were stylish and something that one of our moms or older girls would love. But … they were worn, scuffed, and had a hole in the sole. This gift just broke my heart … mostly for the person who gave it.

I would hope that when we give to others – especially those in need – that we give our best. God gave His perfect gift to us in His Son Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

God did not hold back His best, but offered His one and only Son as the sacrifice for the sins of the world so that we might have new life through Him … all because of His great love for us! May this Christmas be a season filled with the true spirit of giving by giving Him our best in response for the precious gift of love He has freely given to us! May your Christmas be filled with the wonderful celebration of the indescribable gift of Jesus Christ!

Sue Oehmig
Founder and Executive Director

P.S. There's still time to take advantage of our challenge grant matching dollar for dollar every new gift we receive!

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