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."
"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.