I showed them a five minute video from last summer’s trip and they couldn’t get enough…”Again, again!” they shouted, and we played it again.
What happened next shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. A spontaneous session of thanksgiving erupted among my little troop of four and five year olds. They thanked God for their mommies and daddies, for their sisters and brothers, for the yummy breakfasts they had and the dinner they knew they would enjoy later, for warm houses, for bedrooms and snuggly covers on their beds, and of course for toy dinosaurs, puppies, paint sets, and Barbie dolls.
Even before walking into my classroom yesterday morning a verse was playing in my mind. I shared that verse with my students, urging them not to forget that God is the giver of all things good, that even the good things we do are God’s gifts to others through us. The next several minutes were spent brainstorming what they could do for the hungry children across the sea. “Do they have milk?” one bright student asked, “because we could get them two cows -a girl cow for milk and and a boy one to eat.”
Just as my day was ending I received an email from a friend that included the above photo. For the past two years my friend’s nine year old daughter, aptly named Grace, has requested pillowcases for her birthday. Then she and her mom make them into dresses to clothe orphan girls in Africa. She and her mom pray as they sew, for each future recipient of a dress –the dresses in the photo are the ones Grace made this year. I have the privilege of delivering those dresses into the hands of beaming, grateful girls –a very good gift from the only Father they have, and proof that He has not forgotten them.
The photo itself was a precious gift to me, but I was astounded to see printed on it the same verse that had been running through my head all day –the one I had shared with my students:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17