One of my all-time favorite things on a house build, besides the dedication and turning over the keys & watching the family see their completed house for the first time, is taking the family shopping. Many teams take up money so that the family can buy some much needed supplies and food. This is also a great opportunity to get the family away from the house so that the next time they see their home it is complete. This experience can be a very emotional time as for some, this is the first time they have ever been inside a "grocery store" as many purchase their daily needs from the local family store down the street.
A few months ago, I had the incredible opportunity to do just that. I went with the Homes of Hope, a ministry of YWAM San Diego/Baja, team to buy food, toiletries, school supplies, clothing, basic things that we often take for granted, for the Gomez-Loaeza family.
As I was taking photos of these guys I was also helping to translate for the family. Most of the time we have to convince the families to choose the things they really need. I give them an idea of how much money they can spend but even still we have to go behind them and add things to their carts.
We walked through the store picking up vegetables, meat, flour, masa (Mexican corn flour), milk, eggs, cereal, peanut butter, cheese, etc. We then grabbed some cleaning supplies, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products, even some hair dye. We convinced the parents to get some new clothes for themselves and their 3 children. Who doesn't love getting new clothes?
The whole time I watched as the family searched carefully for each item they placed in their carts, calculating the cost, weighing their options. This is exactly what happened with Evelin when she looked at the array of pencils standing before her. I watched her eye the pretty green and purple ones with envy, the only kind that a child knows, pure and precious. I asked her if she wanted them and she replied that she did. I reached up and took down the large pack, putting them in her hand.
I then observed her look back up at the top row of pencils, notice the price tag, and stretch to put them pack, wanting to replace them with the much cheaper plain yellow ones. I could see the brief flicker of sadness as she put them back but it was quickly replaced with resolve, that this was the "right" decision.
It greatly saddened me because I KNEW she really wanted the cute purple and green ones however the reality of their situation is that sacrifices have to be made and the simple fact that she was getting pencils was good enough for her. But God doesn't want us to live in "good enough", He wants us to have the BEST. So knowing this and that it was a matter of $1 US ($15 pesos) I reached up and took the purple and green ones, replacing them with the plain No 2. yellow ones.
The look on her face moved from shock to delight in a split second and that is exactly what I wanted to see. She knew in that moment that it is OK to want something better. It is ok to choose something of higher value. She knew that she shouldn't demand it but that sometimes it is ok to spend a little extra for something that brings pure joy. This is what so many of these kids grow up missing. Sadly, this "lesson" translates into the rest of their lives. They don't strive for something better in life. They don't choose something of higher value for their lives. They don't make choices based on the joy it would bring.
How is God giving you His best these days?? Leave a comment below and let me know!
- God Gave Me a FitBig
- Unity, Not Division - Video Blog
- God Works in Mysterious Ways, Even Through Beef Jerky
- YWAM Ministry Spotlight: Homes of Hope, 25 Years Strong
- Weekend Plans?
- YWAM Ministry Spotlight: Preschool aka Out of the Mouths of Babes
Make sure you also check out all of the other stories through our YWAM Ministries.
Want to join us for the next quarter? Check out all of our awesome upcoming schools that you can be a part of! Head on over to our newly designed website to find out more. If you have questions, let me know!