Yes I made Christmas bags out of news paper adds this year….why you may ask? Because I spent a day in the life of a Nepali family. We had a hunger prayer meeting where we spent the morning doing daily tasks of a family in Nepal. We broke up into groups and began doing their work…making bags from scraps of newspaper in hopes of selling these bags to local shop owners. I am not one for these types of activities but something about this activity struck a cord in my heart. As I sat there folding and glueing bags together to sell for pennies, I realized a few things. 1: when you are so focused on surviving day-to-day there is little time like; building relationships, reading your bible, caring for one another, raising children/parenting. Because the simple truth is everyone has to work and work all day just to have something to eat and hopefully a roof on their head. 2: This type of life is driven by fear; fear of not being able to get enough products to sell, fear of not eating or having a safe place to sleep, fear of having to make the hard choice of dividing a family just to survive. 3: It would be very hard to care about learning anything including about Christ when your very basic human needs are being threatened or not met.
This was a good day for me, I needed it…I quiet literally needed my perspective to be shaken. I live 10 mins from a huge slum, I see it I have gone to meet the people and serve there. But still I am removed because at the end of the day I get in my car and drive home, where there is food in the fridge, beds to sleep and my kids are safe. This day of sitting on a concrete floor in a small group folding bags was such a powerful reminder for me. I have always felt convicted that we must meet basic human needs before or at least while we share the love of Christ, people need to see acts of love and that God cares for them in the most practical of ways. I am so grateful for this reminder as our ministries start-up again in Jan.
So why did I come home and make more bags after I spent a whole day doing it…and to be honest it’s not that fun. I wanted to teach the kids about how others live I wanted to see me folding bags, to experience going to the store and getting the ads in order to make the bags. We talked about the realities of life for many people as we sat there making the bags. I prayed for those who suffer while I folded the bags. So no I am not attempting to Up-cycle and be green this Christmas, I was trying to remember the precious lesson I had learned and hopefully pass that lesson on to our kids. So family if you get a gift wrapped in a newspaper bag this is why.
Can I challenge you during this holiday season to pray as you wrap your gifts, we spend hours wrapping gifts lets life our voices and hearts this holiday season for those who struggle to survive on a daily basis!
Matt 25:40 The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’