What different courses these stories could have taken if only priorities were right, if only simple obedience and obligations were honored.
It just so happens that defeating the materialism of the Church of the west, is part of the solution to the resourcing needs of the Church of the east. And increasing our awareness and involvement in the east, is part of defeating our materialism in the west. It’s a wonderful synergy.
In short, the stories change through a redistribution of financial and relationship capital.
Six months ago Sally’s mom decided that enough was enough. She wasn’t content to let the world raise her child anymore. While traveling to a company conference in Southeast Asia, she came upon the vast numbers of children on the streets and realized that her own child, Sally, was effectively growing up parentless also. She also recognized that, compared to those children in the gutters, Sally was spoiled beyond measure.
Sally’s mom came home and pledged that things would be different. She sat down and had a heart-to-heart with her husband. They prayed together and strongly felt God telling them to rearrange their lives – to build into their child, to build into the world. Sally’s mom asked for a different job in the company, one that required less travel, even though it meant the path to ‘the top’ would be hindered. And Sally’s Dad set boundaries also, not coming home late and not being overly preoccupied with work while at home.
Sally’s mom conducted some research and learned that there were many churches in Southeast Asia trying to save the region’s street orphans. The family started supporting a small poor church in Cambodia that was rescuing orphaned and abandoned kids from the rag-picking fields. The church needed infrastructure and ongoing funding to build and maintain family homes for the children on its grounds.
Sally’s parents involved her in the process. She helped to choose the Cambodian church and did a school paper on the orphans of Cambodia. She sacrificed her own allowance for three months to help buy shoes for the children. She started writing letters to the kids.
Seven days ago, Phary lost her father. She went to the church next to the rag-picking field near her former home. After doing some research to confirm that Phary had indeed lost both her parents, the church took her in and welcomed her into one of three homes that were built on its property. She was matched with a family in one of the homes. The family welcomed her, started to consol her, embraced her as their own. This particular home was funded in its entirety by a Christian family living in North Dallas. Phary had become one of children sponsored by Sally’s family.
A few months ago, Sally’s mom surprised the whole family by saying that she’d cashed in a chunk of her frequent flier miles and booked tickets for the whole family to visit the Cambodian church and home they were supporting.
Their plane arrived yesterday.
As Sally entered the church grounds, a young girl came up to her and grabbed her hand.
"My name is Phary. What’s yours?"
She showed Sally her room. She introduced Sally to her new family.
Little did Sally’s parents know, but as they invested into an at risk child in the developing world, they were actually investing into their own child in the USA, their own at risk child.