Over the holidays, I spoke with a family member who’s led a fairly unconventional life compared to those of us who work 9 to 5 jobs and stare at computer screens all day. She’s lived in Third World and developing countries, knows how to live out of a backpack, and views life through a much broader window than many of us.
She met the love of her life while she was working in a foreign nation and married him after a 12-year friendship. Their marriage means complex international family responsibilities most Americans would never think about. So when their friends here in the States invite them to the movies, they think twice about spending thirty-five dollars that could literally transform the lives of their loved ones.
LIFTING A BURDEN
My relative and her husband work at a ministry organization here in the U.S. and don’t have lots of spare cash. Like most young married couples, they’re working to get their feet under them. Over Christmas they learned that one of their family members overseas had been working for years to eradicate a burdensome life-long debt.
The amount? Ninety dollars. Even though ninety bucks was a fair chunk of change to this young couple, they wrote out a check for $100 and sent it, knowing their small gift would lift a life-long burden from their relative’s shoulders. Could they have used the cash for their own debt? Yes. But they recognized the price of a few movie tickets could change the course of someone’s life.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Their story stirred me. This couple has been working since they got married to pay off their own debt. Their gift lifted a burden from someone’s life in the same way that their life would be changed if someone paid off their medical debt.
Americans are privileged. With even a small gift, we can change the course of someone’s life. Today, as we begin a new year in the face of enormous fiscal challenge, I’m presenting a challenge. I’m asking for the blessing of 100 people to join me this year in changing a life with their gifts. Here’s how it works.
THE CHANGE A LIFE CHALLENGE
Take a look at the world beyond your doorstep. Ask God to show you a life that could be changed with your financial gift–a gift as small as $50 or something greater. You’re the judge. But the key is to give something that will
- lift a burden
- eradicate a debt
- change the course or direction of someone’s life
- open a new door of opportunity
This challenge isn’t about paying for someone’s toll or giving them your used furniture. It’s a call to prayerfully consider how we can see the world with new eyes and reflect Jesus’ love and grace to the world in a way that could change the direction of someone’s life.
I’d love to have you join me at this blog and share your story of how someone’s life was transformed.
Story #1: my relatives and their $100 gift. End of story, THEIR relative immediately paid off the debt that had burdened him for years and used the remaining $10 to purchase much-needed food. They are now debt-free.
Now, friends, I’d love to hear from you and how you you grow in the giving.