Skip to main content

When it Hurts to Give

Recently a family asked if we had any extra shoes we could give them. I do happen to have 2 pair of tennis shoes. One older pair for the garden and muddy weather and my good pair. I like my shoes. They are New Balance, a brand I can only buy when I’m in the States. This family of six, however has one pair of good shoes for the entire family. That means their four adolescents (1 boy and 3 girls) share the same pair of shoes. When I found out that extra piece of information, I was willing to give them my second pair.

We have such abundance that it is so easy to forget that even a second pair of old shoes is an extreme luxury for others. I should be willing to give my extra pair of shoes, my shirts, my food, my clean water… to those who have nothing.

But that’s not where giving ends.

I felt like I am being tested even more on what my role is as a giver. Before we came to Paraguay we asked a veteran missionary what we’d need. She told us that we would certainly need an electric blanket. There are none to be found here. It’s one item that we didn’t sell in our garage sale back in the day and something that’s important in facing winter months in unheated homes.

When the colder weather arrived a few months ago, we were asked by the daughter of an elderly couple for an electric blanket. For two months I’ve kept my mouth shut about it. I’ve got what she needs and I didn’t want to hand it over. Well, the lady kept asking us about an electric blanket. In my flesh, I didn’t want to give away my only electric blanket. I was being selfish. My husband asked me to pray about giving our blanket. The honest truth is that I didn’t even want to pray about it! I feel it’s more “doable” to give when it’s out of abundance, but when it comes to sacrificial giving, I’m not usually the first to raise my hand. However, I came across this passage written by David, “I will not sacrifice to my God that which costs me nothing.” In other words, it’s easy to give when you have a lot, but the true test of our love for God is giving when it hurts. The widow who gave her last two mites (cents) to the Lord, not the wealthy who gave out of abundance, was mentioned by Jesus as a true giver.

I know that I need to be a more cheerful giver. “God, Help me not to be stingy, even when I can find great excuses as to why I deserve to “hang on” to MY belongings. I know that the only reason I’ve been entrusted with so much, is so I can give much.


Popular posts from this blog

September highlights. A month in Paraguay

I want to thank you for hanging out with us this past month. Every day was different. Sometimes I wish I had more of a routine. But in my missionary role, routine is not something I experience very often. Here are a few September highlights.

We traveled to Asuncion, to get some paperwork done. The trip to Asuncion generally takes six hours on a two lane road, with crazy traffic. We avoid these trips as much as possible. 

I was part of a Baptism ceremony in the Parana River. 28 people made a public commitment. The Parana Rive is the second one in size after the Amazon River.

I had a chance to continue my bible teaching at our local church on Tuesday evenings. I fill in various classes and find teaching very rewarding.
We celebrated Anahi’s 6th birthday with our immediate family. Anahi is finishing her preschool and will start first great next year

We celebrated Dominick’s 4th month. He also got his shots last week. Dominick has occupied the center of attention. He has been a great joy for …

Technology in missions

As I started my day, within a few hours, I had a list of things to do. By 10 am I had enough items to keep me busy for a week. After several hours in the office, I was able to send audio messages and video conference with people on both side of the Equator. I sent letters out to several people in just a few seconds. I posted on FB, and I googled some maps while listening to a webinar.
Did my grandparents or even my parents have these technologies? The answer is no. David and Lilian Meier left on a steam ship the port of New Orleans in December of 1935 towards South America. All the field knowledge they had was a letter from a German missionary who wrote to America saying. Will someone come to Brazil?

That was the beginning. Their first trip lasted a decade serving in several places in South America. There where no phone calls, no daily FB updates and no cool Instagram pictures. Few words on a telegram, or when letters were written they delivered weeks later were the ways of communica…

A month in Paraguay, Come and hang out with us

Book fair – Freedom of expression
Its was the beginning of the 12th , annual book fair. This event is organized by a local university as one of its arms into the community. Publishers, book sellers and authors come to present their books. Until Sunday Sept 11th, kids, professors from different schools will come and visit plaza de armas (city square of weapons) in downtown Encarnacion to learn and interact. In parallel with the book fair, workshops are going on all day, dealing with topics as wide as social media, religion, politics, team work, biographies, and history.

Just to refresh our memory, until 1989 Paraguay had only two universities in the country. The country was governed by a dictator for 35 years. Freedom of expression could cost exile, jail or even death. That’s only about 30 years ago. Today there are 54 universities, but still only about 4% attending university. People are gaining their voice without fear of repression after two hundred years. You can imagine how these …