Wednesday, December 24, 2014

This Is Christmas . . .

I often tell people the story behind the My Christmas List dedication to Frederick because it was such a shift in perspective for me. 

While we were working on his memoir a few Christmases ago, I asked him, "What's on your Christmas list?" He didn't seem to understand. I explained, "You know, what are you asking to get for Christmas?"

"Oh." Pause. Laughter (as he does when he's a little uncomfortable). "I don't get anything for Christmas. I buy rice and beans for the people on the streets."

"Oh." And that's when my perspective changed.

Fast forward to today, Christmas Eve (not-so-coincidentally), when I received photos of Christmas in Rwanda. While Frederick was here, we sold a lot of the crafts made by the people at the UCC. "Every penny," I promised the enthusiastic buyers, "will go back to the people of Rwanda." Some of the money goes back into buying craft supplies, some goes directly to the crafters, and some goes to support the UCC. We also had some donations to add to the craft sales, to be used wherever Frederick and Zacharie saw the most need.

So this week, Frederick and Zacharie used that money to buy food and supplies for the families in their home visit program. 

And here's what Christmas looks like: 

But that's not all. 

When Frederick and I visited Mrs. Mears's girls Bible class at Middle Tennessee Christian School, the girls wanted to know how they could help. And when they heard that some of the people in the home visit program were bedridden and spent most of their time on a dirt floor, they put the Sweet Dreams program into action. For about $25 each, they could purchase a mattress for one of these people in Rwanda. 

And just in time for Christmas, thanks to some selfless teenage girls in the United States, some precious people in Rwanda will be having those Sweet Dreams.

So this Christmas, please remember, if you have food to eat and a mattress to sleep on, you've already had your Christmas. Everything else is just icing on the sugar cookie.

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