Friday, December 23, 2005

Blessing Others this Christmas Season

It seemed like yesterday we were collecting toys and rounding up food for operation "Blessing Christ", created by good friend and Christian brother Ramone, when the day was upon us. Last Saturday, we had the wonderful opportunity to bless hundreds of people in the city of Immokalee, Florida.

The most needy area is right in our backyard - a town supported mainly by migrant workers who help the tomato industry thrive here in Southwest Florida.

We packed food and a few goodies into cardboard boxed and had a nice supply of toys as well.

It was the first time for many of us to see the actual living conditions of most of the migrant workers. It was hard to believe we were in America. At some stops, we were overwhelmed with people. We had Spanish Bibles and books. There were toys for the little ones and each family was given a box of non-perishable food.

What was troubling was to find some migrant workers were paying as much as $500 a week to live in a shell of a trailer and sent what little they had left over to their families.

Our hearts went out to them to know that we live in palaces in comparison. They stay, because the work is here. They can work hard and know they will have steady pay. For now, that is life. And our job this day was to spread a little hope.

Around 3:30 PM, we ran out, and we had barely touched the surface. We turned away a few families as we loaded back into our cars and headed back to the church to see if there was anything left over.

The drive back down to Naples was quiet as we contemplated what we just experienced. This was real Christmas, played out in front of us. We did nothing but identify needy and give them what we had. What incredible joy we saw on each face. That is what living is all about.

We are so anxious to do this again. All of us jumped at the chance to serve. It is a life-changing experience. Giving is so fundamental to making permanent change.

If I got nothing more than that experience, that would be awesome - my Christmas. But for many in Immokalee, that is just a little food for a few days and some small toys that will wear out. Fortunately, with the Bibles, they are able to find hope that transcends their condition.

I do look forward to doing this more often - next Christmas is too long to wait.

I encourage you to get involved in giving in some way. Make it a habit to give away the first ten percent of your income - even from your ads. Watch Higher Power bless. I challenge you.

1 comment:

Easton Ellsworth said...

Dave, thanks for reminding us all that there are MANY more important things than blogging and money. Merry Christmas and keep up the great blogging!