The following is an edited letter from some precious friends of ours to their family describing what they taught their children while reaching out to orphans. We are thankful for the way they have ministered to children on the other side of the world while ministering to their own. If you are interested in doing something similar, there is still time to send gifts.
"As we read a letter several months ago from some missionary friends of ours who had adopted a little girl named Karina from the Ukraine, our children asked us what an orphan was. We explained that there are children in the world whose parents for one reason or another were not able to take care of them, or had died and there was no one to take care of their children, so there were a bunch of children who lived in a place without mommies and daddies. Their eyes grew wide and their mouths opened in amazement. “You mean they don’t have a mommy and daddy?!”
“That’s right,” I said. There was a very serious and sad look on our two children’s faces. Then, their mouths were loosed and the questions came in a flood.
“So who helps them when they fall down?”
“Who plays with them?”
“Who tucks them in at night?”
“Who hugs them when they are scared?”
“Where do they live?”
“Who protects them from bad people?”
“Who buys them toys?”
“Who prays with them and for them?”
“Who reads the Bible to them?”
“Who takes them to church?”
“Who gives them baths?”
“Who feeds them right?”
“Who takes care of them when they are sick?”
“Who loves them?”
“Who teaches them about Jesus?!”
And as you may guess, there are no easy explanations for any of these questions. But it was not too long after this that they came to us very serious - as serious and determined as any five and three year old can be. They said that we will love the orphans. They asked us if we could show a bunch of orphans in the Ukraine that we loved them and God does too. So they wanted to give gifts this Christmas to children
like Karina who didn’t have mommies and daddies and toys and all sorts of things. They also said that they already had so many toys that they didn’t need any more.
So, we went to the store and bought socks, gloves, crayons, paper, candy, balls and cars, headbands and purses, playdoh, stickers, and Christmas cards written from both of them. We did this for twenty children - ten boys and ten girls about our children's age - at an orphanage in Odessa, Ukraine where Karina is from. Then we paid the postage and customs shortly after Thanksgiving and sent your Christmas presents to the other side of the world to some children who have no family to spend Christmas with.
And so you see, two small but big-hearted children, because they are filled up with so much love from all of you and most importantly filled with the love of Jesus, could not sit idly by when there is so much need in such a place at this time of year.
And so, because they love Jesus and you, they gave just a little of what they knew and enjoyed to children who may not have any of these things.
You know, it is precisely because the Son of God pitied a bunch of fatherless children such as us, lost and in bondage to their own sin, ignorant of the Father’s love, far from grace, that Jesus took pity on us and came and became one of us, took our sin and punishment that we, who were once orphans, might be adopted into the family of God. He who knew no sin, became sin, that we might become the
righteousness of God. We who once were justly children of wrath, but now have
faith in this Christ, have now been adopted into the family of God and become
God’s children that we might tell others of the excellent greatness of God’s grace.
This is what our kids, and all of us want you to know: that we gave in your name for God’s glory to children who may not know what Christmas is or what it is all about."