‘Happy Kids‘, the organization that guided our mission trip, wants to buy a 10 acre tract of land in Haiti to build a girls’ home. The land is $15,000. After seeing Haiti firsthand, I can tell you it’s a worthwhile project. When we were there, I was trying to explain to some of the young men there how Americans have to choose what to spend their money on and/or what they give their money to support.
It was the same thing when Diane and I were in Ghana. Many people who live in places such as Ghana or Haiti do not understand. In Ghana, everyone asked us when we were coming back. People wanted us to bring them home with us. I explained how I saved for 3 years to go to Ghana and the church helped us raise money for Diane to go. We told them we would probably never be back because it was so expensive.
Back to the conversation in Haiti, I told them that we have groups who want our money to find a cure for cancer. I told them our choir director had a disease we give money to help fight. There are groups that help our veterans that we give money to. We raise money for children’s hospitals, Ronald McDonald houses. Diane and I send $76 a month to Compassion International to sponsor two children . And on top of all that, a few of us even tithe to our church.
Do we, as Americans, buy things we don’t need? Of course. Do we go out and eat more than we should? Look at the line at the McDonalds drive thru. Are we bad about ‘needing’ new vehicles and the latest technology? You know who you are. But all in all, Americans are the most generous, giving people on earth. We give an unbelievable amount of money to worthwhile charities and projects every year. It’s impossible to support every one.
I was talking with a guy the other day who built a psychiatric hospital and sold it to a group for $1. He wasn’t bragging, but joyfully told me thing after thing he has done to help others throughout his life. He spoke with a smile on his face and when he was done speaking of all the things God has allowed him to be a part of, he said, “It’s been fun”. He didn’t mention anything about what he had done for himself. He didn’t talk about great vacations, new trucks, or the latest computer gadgets. It was all about what he has done to make a difference to others.
If 42 of us would commit $30 a month for one year to Happy Kids, that would be $360 per person for a year; times 42 people = $15,120. That would be $6.92 for each of us a week for one year. 42 of us could buy that land for them. I understand there are a lot of worthwhile ways to spend your money. But at the end as we reflect on our lives, how cool would it be to have ‘helped to start a girls’ home in Haiti for the glory of Jesus’ on our resume? I’m looking for 41 other people.