Monday, May 03, 2010

Garage Sales Are Weird


We recently had two garage sales.

After listening to the Radical Series and watching the documentary No Impact Man, we started thinking some new thoughts.

Thoughts that go a little somethin' like this...

"Why do we have so much crap?"

"Why do we need all this stuff?"

"Even if it's good stuff...if we barely use it, do we really need it?"

We're in the process of re-figuring our lifestyle. After you learn that 24,000 kids die every single day of preventable diseases it becomes a pretty fun hobby to sit and dream about how many needless deaths one family...one church...one community could prevent if we freed up some of our income.

When you find out how little the American church gives to missions, it makes you sad. How much "great commission work" will you let us fund, God...how much?

How much good can we do with your money, Lord?

How can we use our money for eternal things...investing in lives...caring for the poor...the orphan...advancing the gospel?

While we're in the process of reevaluating everything we thought the least we could do to free up some immediate cash is have a garage sale.

I hate garage sales.

I like going. I despise hosting.

It's exhausting work.

People showed up a full hour early.

One guy drove up to the house in the dark. The car barely slowed down. He shot out of his truck and in his best redneck voice says, "You got any guns and knives?" It took him about 1 full minute to ask that one, short question. Talk about a drawl.

Too bad we were fresh out of guns and knives.

Did I mention it was dark outside?

People were going through our stuff with flashlights.

It was awesome.

I had never seen anything like it.

I was standing in the driveway in shock. Kirby looked over at me. She said..."I forgot to warn you about the flashlighters."

We decided right then and there...

The next garage sale ad we place will not mention the word, "early birds."

We'll say...

"if you need a flashlight...you are too early."

After two weekends of garage sales, we made right at $1,200!

Just our family!

I wish I had the total for all of the families combined.

I highly recommend having a garage sale with all your friends. That was the only perk. Sitting for hours with people we love laughing at the things people were buying.

Twelve hundred dollars.

That's a lot of money.

As we sat counting the booty Aaron mentioned that it was pretty sad we made this much money off the junk we don't want and don't use.

We didn't sacrifice anything but our time.
_________________________________-

Kind of separate, but not really...

Last night a guy named Ben, from Africa, came and spoke to New Life. In 1993 he was sponsored by someone here in America through Compassion International.

Literally...he went from having no hope and living in the slums to going to school...to learning about Jesus. As a young boy, his entire life changed. The cycle of poverty (both physical poverty and spiritual poverty) has been broken in his life and in the lives of his family members. Praise God for the work that Compassion does.

Ben is now teaching. Compassion gave him a scholarship to attend college. His story is incredible.

Ben talked last night about getting to meet his sponsor. His sponsor lives in Georgia. I'm sure this man had no idea...no real concept of how much his small gift would mean to a child in Africa. He had no idea that a child's life...a person's soul...would be saved forever.

After our garage sale...and listening to Ben last night, I started wondering about how many kids we could all sponsor through Compassion if we just had a stellar garage sale.

All of us.

What if we went through our homes and really thought through whether or not we need all the stuff in our cabinets and closets.

What about all that junk in the garage? In the attic?

We made $1200.

That would sponsor one child through Compassion for about 32 months.

Two and a half years.

If that's not motivation to get off our rumps and declutter...I don't know what is!

What are we waiting for?

Without sacrificing anything but our extra...our clutter...our junk...our "why on earth do we have this or need this" stuff we could invest in eternity.

That's a good place for all of us to start, right? I will always be a lover of baby steps.

13 comments:

Bob & Judy said...

Honey child, you are my hero. Hope you know that. - Grandma

Meredith Gilbert said...

y'all ready to pick a kid? :)

Hendrick Family said...

Yes! But we want one from Haiti...so we may have to wait a little bit. Any word on that?

Heather

Megan Fletcher said...

i got to meet many of the children in the Bridge of Hope program (through Gospel for Asia) when we went to India last January. it was absolutely amazing to see what such a small amount can do to alter the life of a child. we can provide education, medical check-ups, hygiene, and tell them about Jesus for less than I can feed my family of five if we eat out once.

the ladies in my church LIFE group are reading through Francis Chan's book Crazy Love. wow. today I read about our incredible wealth. I already knew the facts, but reading about it again hit hard. we are way rich. compared to other americans (who I unfortunately use as a measurement way too often)...not so much. compared to much of the rest of the world...extremely. what am i really doing with it? sadly...focusing on me and mine way too much. Chan recently came to share with our staff and said something that i'm still mulling over. someone thought he was being foolish to not "secure" his financial future and that of his family. they said "what about in the case of an emergency?" Chan's reply was something akin to "is it only an emergency if something happens to my family? What about the 1 billion people who lack clean drinking water or the children trapped in sex trafficking or the malnourished...? Isn't it an emergency for them?!" His point was spot on and keeps gnawing at my heart.

Meredith Gilbert said...

I just looked online and it said Haiti is still closed...I e-mailed my regional manager for the advocate network and asked her though...I'll let you know!

mandi said...

OH! It is wonderful to me to hear compassion success stories! We have a little girl from India that we've been sponsoring for 7 years now. Her name is Sweetie. Could that be any better? She is such a blessing to us! We recently got an updated picture of her. When we first began sponsoring her she was barefoot and wearing ripped, dirty clothes. In this picture her hair is long and healthy, and she is wearing a beautiful sari.
Congrats on all your garage sale loot! I know you guys will put it to good work! : )

Katie said...

Heather- check out what this family from Arkansas did! You'll love it!

They took their 4 small children to Africa for TWO months. The whole adventure was documented on film and they are showing it as a series. Amazing. Check it out.

http://puremission.org/get/videos/esthers-house-series-episode-one/

Emily said...

I have been reading your blog for a few years now, and I love it. It is so refreshing and honest. So encouraging and challenging to me. Thank you so much for sharing your heart!! I will pray with you for clarity and wisdom in the whole Haiti process. Have you been there? I went in college and it rocked my world.

Also, I went to Living Hope back in college for a while like in 2001 and 2002, but you don't know me. I don't live here anymore, but my parents still live in CS so we're there often (I'm here now!), and I saw you in Target a year or so ago. I thought about introducing myself but I didn't for some reason. I wish I had!!

Thanks for being so open and real with this blog. What a blessing it has been to me for sure!

Hendrick Family said...

Emily...

You should have introduced yourself!!

We have never been to Haiti. We can't wait to go. In a few days we're leaving for a visit. Hopefully we will have more clarity after the trip.

Heather

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

What a beautiful picture; less clutter, less stuff, more of Jesus radiating through us as we share Him with little ones around the globe.

I have too much stuff. That makes me sad. Which is a good thing...if it spurs me to action!

Toni's Treehouse said...

Not sure which I love more... your post or the comment from Grandma. :) Best of luck in your adventures.

Bobbie said...

Gosh but you give me inspiration to declutter and then sponser another child.

amber said...

Great thoughts and inspiration! My church and the school associated with it has been sponsoring several children over in Haiti for years now. I believe they kind of sponsor a school and the more money they are able to send the more children are able to attend the school. Because there are no phones and such down there, there is one person who goes down there regularly and takes pictures of the kids and gets info about them like favorite food, color, age, grade, etc. so that the school children here can learn about them and know who they are sponsoring. Several of the girls there are like 15 years old and in the 1st grade because they have not been able to afford to go to school. It only costs around $150 to sponsor a child at this christian school for an entire year. That includes not only the cost of education, but the cost of food too! With $1200 you could essentially provide an entire grade school education to a child at this school.