Last year, I got many wonderful gifts for Christmas. Gifts from my husband, children and grandchildren that were chosen with love and much thought. I am blessed to have a family that is full of love. It is  easy to take them for granted. It is also easy to take other things for granted too; the blessings of a home, heat, food, clothing, cars, a job and so much that we think we need, but really do not.

There was a gift that I didn’t receive that has left me speechless.  My daughter Cherie and her husband Brad have personally been involved in mission work in Africa for about 6 years.  They recently established a mission organization called Foothold International with the goal to show Christ’s love and to encourage and empower those in need to bring lasting positive change and to break cycles of poverty. Many of the things we take for granted in our country are not so plentiful there.

Last year Cherie told me for my Christmas present they were going to buy a goat and give it to someone in Kenya. Well to be honest, I am ashamed to admit, I thought that was nice, but really didn’t feel that it was much of a gift for me. That is, until Cherie this year gave me a letter from the woman who received the goat – in my name. She wrote, with much humility, how poor her family is, about her children who were not able to go to school and how a goat has not only provided them with food, but also  a source of income. A goat brought the potential for this family to not just thrive, but to prosper. It was more than help for a day – it was help for a lifetime

That gift has changed me too. I realize that a family on the other side of the world is able to have a chance at a better life because of a self-less gift. Not really self-less on my part though. I can’t actually take any credit for it, yet this woman is so thankful to me for the impact this gift has on her and her family’s life.  And because of that I want to do better. I guess I did receive something from that gift after all.