Thursday, June 29, 2006

An Inspiration To Me

A month or so ago a friends son, Matt, informed our church that he would like to go on a mission trip to Pau Pau New Guinea to help and learn about translating the Bible into foreign languages as this was something he feels God is leading him to do after college. He gave a presentation and wrote a detailed letter about this mission asking us to help support him prayerfully and financially on his venture. The next week, a special collection was taken up for him and his mission, funds were placed in a wooden box in the back of the church that is used for occasions such as this. After service that day, my 9 year old daughter Emily was asking me questions about where Matt was going and what exactly he was going to be doing and why he wanted to do it. I explained as best I could and we went on with the rest of our day. The following Sunday at church, my daughter brought with her all the spending money she had, which amounted to 2 dollars and some change and put it in that wooden box for Matt. She told me about it later and I wasn't sure what to do because the collection was over and Matt had gone back to college. I didn't want to tell her that and make her feel like she was too late when she was trying to do such a good thing, so I decided to just let the money stay in the box for now. A couple weeks passed and Matt came back on a Wednesday before leaving on his mission trip to give us more detail about what he would be doing and ask us once again to pray for him. After he spoke to us, I took him to the wooden box and told him that a little girl had added to the collection and that it wasn't much but it was all she had. I knew that 2 dollars wasn't going to take him far physically, but my hope was that it would carry him emotionally and spiritually, to know that someone would give all to help him. It did touch him, and he asked me if I knew who it was. I told him it was my daughter, and he said he would have to thank her personally. I told him I didn't think that was necessary, I just wanted to make sure he didn't leave without knowing how much people believed in what he was doing, even 9 year old girls. He told me that I must be very proud of her, and I am. As I thought about that later in the evening, I began to wonder about what he meant when he said I must be proud of her and what I was proud of. I guess when he said that I took it to mean I should be proud that she would give all she had to help, and again, I am. But when I really think about it, what makes me most proud and fills my heart with joy is that she was inspired. The fact that she was moved and her heart was touched, that's what makes me want to say amen. I worry that my children don't understand who God is or the great joy in having a relationship with him. Growing up "Christian" is not easy. Although I don't really know because I didn't grow up christian. But I know how hard it is to be christian as an adult,and I know how hard growing up is. Sometimes I am even thankful I did not have to face the two together. I am afraid for my kids. I worry about the teasing they will endure for their faith and if their faith will be strong enough for them to endure the teasing. Maybe I don't give them enough credit for their strength. But when I see times like this, when they are inspired as my daughter was, it gives me joy and confidence that they know God and they will persevere. Thanks Matt for inspiring my daughter to inspire me.