Esther’s Spending Spree
Not long ago, we sent Esther $25 dollars for her birthday—not a large amount by ay means, the price of lunch for two in Crystal Lake. Esther is our little girl we sponsor through Compassion International in Uganda. She is 12 years old and lives in a village called Kiringa. I’ve been to her village; it is dirt poor and populated with mud, brick, and stick huts. Meeting the people there was a tremendous privilege. They were warm, friendly, and showed great hospitality. They seemed joyful and generous—a little hard for an American like me to process, since they are so poor. But then again, maybe that’s why they have so much joy: they don’t have a lot of junk to clog up their affections.
Anyhow, Esther sent us her itemized list of what she bought with her $25 of birthday money (which is equivalent to a month’s wages for her family!). Her list was a bit shocking and humbling. Ready for this? She purchased a kilogram of beef, a few kilograms of rice, black shoe polish, a few cookies, and a dress. Esther spent her money on family necessities. Talk about a powerful, humbling, haunting lesson. So different from anything I’m used to, or ever did with my own money. What a reminder of the almost ridiculous affluence we live in, and of how much of the world really lives. We thank God for Esther and the lessons she teaches us.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor