3,2,1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Every year we witness the same thing. The ball drops, champagne is opened, we kiss our sweetie, and we make our New Year’s Resolutions. Normally, resolutions are centered around things that benefit us. Exercise, saving money, quitting smoking, eating better, promotions, etc. I’m not saying that any of these things are bad or that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves, but I do think that we are missing a huge part of what God has called each of us to do: to serve and love others.
On the day of Christmas Eve, Amanda and I had the privilege of bringing a poor family of 5 some tamales (a traditional and anticipated Christmas meal) and some Christmas gifts for their 3 little boys to put under their Christmas tree. We knocked on their door and were invited in. After a brief scan around their home, we realized that they didn’t have a tree. They didn’t have pots of delicious Christmas food on their stove and we couldn’t find a single present anywhere in the house. We don’t think that this family was going to celebrate Christmas this year. There was a look of surprise and relief in the parent’s eyes as we told them that we brought some presents for their kids. The kids, as was expected, were ecstatic that they had gifts! When we arrived, the boys just finished their baths. All but one of the boys were stark naked with the exception of a towel that they wore as a cape! The mother tried to apologize that her boys were streaking around their presents, but we just smiled and told her it was okay because we’re like family. The mother smiled and agreed. Excited herself, mom gave the boys permission to open their gifts. Soon, the wrapped presents were as naked as they were and the boys were showing each other the new toys they got. We hugged the family, wished them a Merry Christmas and left.
After we left the home of our friends, Amanda and I were blown away at what God had just did. What we thought was a simple act of kindness actually became a provision for a family that wasn’t going to have anything. We were so humbled and thankful that God had laid that on our hearts.
I look at this situation and I wonder to myself how did I get so wrapped up in my wants and desires that I stopped seeing the people around me? I assumed that everyone in all of Costa Rica would have their traditional meal. I assumed that everyone would have at least SOMETHING to open up for Christmas. I assumed that God would have sent someone else to provide for a family’s needs.
This year, my prayer for myself, Amanda, and you, is that God would open our eyes to those around us (not just here in Costa Rica, but in the United States as well). That He would use each of us for His purpose in practical and impactful ways. And most importantly, that we would be obedient to Him when He leads us to love and serve others.
In the time of resolutions, consider adding one that doesn’t benefit you. Maybe God wants to do more through you than in you.
We love you! Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
~Brian and Amanda