Susan McCarson is my good friend. She went with me to the Philippines last February and enjoyed meeting our sponsored children and pastors and many other children who are not sponsored YET, but are waiting. Susan is a retired high school teacher who now travels the nation teaching teachers. She is also a committed Christian. She will be going with us again to the Philippines in February 2011. Susan wrote this about her discovery of the magic of Christmas when she was still a small child. I think you will enjoy it.
Discovering the Magic of Christmas
I vividly remember the first time I saw poverty. I was 6 years old. It was from that moment that I understood why Mama separated items we took to the garbage dump. I now understood why Daddy saved scraps from the meat he butchered at his small grocery store and gave them to certain people. I also understood why my daddy spent extra time with the volunteer fire department at Christmas time.
I also began to understand why some children at school did not enjoy making Christmas Tree ornaments with shell macaroni or a Santa Claus with a beard made of cotton balls. Christmas was not the fun time for them that it was for me.
What was a magical time of the year for me was a time of grim reality for others. How could a child be excited about sitting on Santa’s lap when he didn’t bring a gift last year — or the year before. Was it even right to hope that this year might be different? How do parents explain to a young child that Santa will not come?
Fifty years ago I saw poverty for the first time. In February of 2010, I witnessed a different kind of poverty. This one was far worse than I could even imagine. Malnourished children living in dumpsites, under a bridge, in squatter areas or on the streets exist in an environment not meant for humans, much less children.
How do these children of the Philippines celebrate the birth of Jesus? When there is not even enough money for food, how does this time of year become magical?
This year Ras Robinson announced that Fullness in Christ Ministry will sponsor a Christmas party for the sponsored children and their families. Due to the economy and decrease in donations, the ministry did not send gifts last year. This year, that is not an option.
I had parents with giving hearts who modeled for me. We were far from rich in monetary terms, but we were wealthy in ways I grew to understand. This year my family members will receive a special gift. Each will receive a card that states that a donation has been made in their honor — a donation to light up the eyes of a Filipino child.
Let us join together in good and bad times to model a giving heart. No amount is too small to make a big difference in the life of a child.
Christmas for Sponsored Kids in the Philippines
You can put a big smile on a child’s face this Christmas. Your generous donation will help give Christmas to FCM sponsored children and their families. Send your donation online by going to Christmas for Kids.