Sharing Brings Joy: A Week of Compassion Testimony
Our 7-year old son Bailey, and his 4 years old sister, Hannah, have fallen in love with giving their time, talents, and treasure. As their parents, we wanted them to discover for themselves that every person plays a role in the community… that everyone has a place and a purpose. Matt and I never made giving a requirement; rather, we wanted them to develop the joy of giving in their own way.
Often, their giving brings us to tears. When Bailey lost his first tooth and gained a dollar, he begged to donate it to a local organization helping the homeless. Hannah nearly made our pastor cry when she brought him one small, clay flower-pot full of pennies to “help the Church Nursery children.”
But absolutely, hands-down: our favorite time for donating our treasure is Week of Compassion. It is so much fun to watch the children run around the house searching for coins to fill their boxes. They hunt under couch cushions and in junk drawers looking for lost coins in need of a proper home. By their own choice, all of the pennies they earn for their household chores in the month go into the boxes, until they are brimming full. If one sibling’s box happens to fill faster than the other, the pennies, nickels, and dimes, are shared amongst them.
This year, they have vowed to help their 18-month-old sister, Holly Lauren, learn how to put pennies into her first box with her little fingers. I enjoy stealing quick glances as they guide her, hand-over-hand, demonstrating “how it’s done.” Holly already hops up and down, clapping and cheering as the “practice coins” make the familiar clinking sound.
Then, every year on “Week of Compassion Collection Day” the children day dream about how "their" money helps others. Matt and I listen intently as they wonder aloud and we drive. Sometimes we hear about clean water or food for the hungry. Sometimes, we hear musings about other parts of a world that is still very exotic and exciting to them.
I have to admit, I secretly look forward to that drive every year! Don’t we all?
-Amanda Harders, First Christian Church Colorado Springs, Colorado
Earthquake in New Zealand
Week of Compassion has authorized funds for our partner, the Associated Churches of Christ in New Zealand, to support any efforts in which they may engage. We have also been in touch with the ACT Alliance who has informed us that they have finally made contact with the Christian World Service New Zealand staff who are all safe, but could not access their office building yesterday. We will continue to be in close touch with our partners, through Global Ministries, to monitor the situation and respond to any emerging needs.
Responding to Fires in White Swan
Mission Director of Yakama Mission, Dave Bell, shares this report from White Swan. “Fifty mile-per-hour wind pushed a firestorm through the small town of White Swan, Washington on Saturday, February 12. The community of the historical Yakama Christian Mission experienced the worst loss of family homes in Yakima County history. With many homes housing more than one family, the community continues to struggle finding long-term shelter for all.
Thanks to an emergency grant from Week of Compassion (WoC), the Yakama Christian Mission is in the process of helping families with housing. A family is currently in the process of moving into an apartment at the Mission and WoC funds are used to cover utilities, toiletries, food, etc. WoC funds are also covering gas and meals for visitations and conversations on how to process disaster with children and youth. WoC funds are also being used to enhance opportunities for conversation through hiking, fishing, and drum and talking circles.
These opportunities of directly and indirectly providing pastoral support, bereavement counseling, and identifying folks unmet needs and helping fulfill those needs through providing resources and referrals are how WoC funds are used in the immediate aftermath of the fire.”
-Dave Bell, Mission Director, Yakama Mission