Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Generous July, Part 2

In this post, I wrote about a simple plan, which spun out from one of my favorite children's books, and involved our church's VBS fundraiser. This is Part 2.

The kids and I, along with three other families, hosted our fourth annual lemonade/bake sale to raise funds during the week of VBS.

Specifically, this year, we raised funds for Belwop Children's Rescue Center in Kenya, run by a woman named Veronica. She loves and houses neglected and abused children, and currently cares for 21 of them. Which is too many for her home. She has had to turn many away. In order to afford food for them all, she is often forced to spend her rent money. Our church's goal was to raise $5,000 during VBS to fund the building of a larger home that Belwop would own. The land is there. The plans are drawn. A structure simply needs to be built.

We learned, through Skype, through hearing Veronica speak the words herself, that she wants to be able to take in 100 orphans. All six hundred energetic kids assembled last Monday morning in our church's sanctuary heard Veronica repeat, "God can do it! God can do it!" in the late Kenyan night, while all her children were already in bed.

When my daughter was five, the first year she was old enough to attend VBS, I began to see her very tender heart for the needy. Her mercy, her love was beyond mine. And I knew I needed to nurture this seed of compassion in her. From then on, this annual bake sale became something we prepare for weeks in advance.

{This year, we made our own Lego creations to sell, took a photo of each, broke them apart, and bagged them into mini-building sets with the photo stapled to the front.}

We invite other families, we begin crafting, and we strategize our spot and time frame for optimizing sales. It is so much work, and it is so worth it.

I can't describe the looks on my children's faces when I can see they feel effective, capable, and know without a doubt that they are significant in this big world. They know. They realize love in action is powerful and they know they are working for the Lord. And what satisfaction they find in it! I was impressed by their dedication and tireless energy.

{It helps to have a friend who is an incredible baker with super-secret cupcake recipes.}

Two hours of sales on a street corner during rush hour, 6 kids, 4 moms, and dozens of passers-by yielded sales of $360. It was incredible, and it was our new record for the four years we've set up shop.

And those two hours and that chunk of change was our piece. It was six sandwich-sized Ziplocs carried by six pairs of little hands, each containing one share of the earnings, proudly passed to a teacher on Friday.

It was a child loving a child on the other side of the world.

Veronica was nearly in tears when, on Friday, we told her via Skype that the children of VBS had raised a grand total of $6,700 for her new home.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever!
Ephesians 3:20-21

Talk about generous. God is the most generous of all simply for inviting us to be a small part of His great love-work in this world.

I hope you too have found a way to have a Generous July. Because God is so very generous to us.



  1. Wow, that's amazing!! Wonderful.

  2. That just gave me chills!

  3. This is so neat Leslie! I love that you are teaching your kids these things! You are doing exactly what I want to do with my kids (when we have them). I am just in awe of what God was able to do through you guys! Wow!

  4. So so awesome! And I love your daughters shirt!

  5. you have me in tears right now too... sort of embarrassing. hoping it's just the pregnancy hormones. but seriously, you have been a busy busy bee! and $6700 for someone who so desperately needs it is the kind of stuff that makes my heart beat. thank you for being so inspiring. i love what you're teaching your kids. you're giving me lots of good ideas for when i finally get to do this stuff with my kiddos :)

    PS $360 in only two hours is actually mind-blowing to me. awesome job!

  6. This is inspiring! What an amazing lesson to teach your kids (and yourself along the way... Great job!

  7. Oh wow Leslie, this just amazes me. YOU amaze me and inspire me. I so want to do this. I need to get out of my own head sometimes and realize just how much me/we are needed in a bigger way. thanks for the reminder friend. Can't wait to hang out in a couple of weeks.