4 Difficult Money Lessons From A Former Missionary Kid
Difficult Money Lessons
1. It’s Not That Important
My husband and I are huge fans of the savings account as well as the emergency fund but here’s a hard truth about money and savings. It’s not that important. God said not to worry about where our food and shelter would come from, that he would provide. Sometimes it may not be provided to us in the form that we would like but it will be provided. That doesn’t mean not to save, it doesn’t mean not to have dreams. My husband and I have dreams, we desire to have land and one day build a house upon it. It’s a goal that we work towards, together as a couple. However, it should not be the ultimate goal.
When I was a child my own parents felt led to literally give away our house to another family who needed one. Yet, we never slept outside. Yes, at one point we were technically homeless but we never once went without shelter or food. There were many points where we didn’t know where we would sleep as the sun began to set but do you want to hear something spine chilling? God always sent Christians our way who felt led to let us stay with them. Sometimes, complete strangers from local churches would invite us in to their homes. Sometimes for weeks.
2. Rich Is A Relative Term
It’s possible to have a lot in the way of finances and still be poor. Additionally, it’s possible to have little financially and still have much wealth. The father of my best friend taught her and I this lesson one day in the streets of Central America. He always took such great care of his land, as well as his house. It was a very small house, no electricity, the bathroom, shower and cooking area all outside. He could have allowed trash to pile high, grass to not grow and weeds to overtake the lot but he chose to show up everyday and make his lot in life the nicest lot on the street, despite its small stature.
When asked about his choices in life he responded something to the translation of “just because we are poor doesn’t mean we have to be trash”. He desired that his family live a wonderful life and so he treasured the gifts in life God granted to him.
3. Not Enough People Give
Poverty is real. You may ignore the commercials on television because surely if those kids were real then someone, anyone, a camera man at the very least, would have provided for them. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. I have so many stories of which I could share but I fear that you would not take the time to read them all. However, I ask that you listen to just this one.
I was 14, the sun was hot. My dad had been going to the dump every other week for a year or more, he knew the condition and told us he didn’t want us there. We didn’t know why, just that it wasn’t a place he wanted us to be. One day he changed his mind, or rather his heart and told us to ride with him. The five of us loaded the smelly trash into the hot car which only added to the appalling stench of rotting food. I’m pretty sure I complained about the offensive smell the entire way there. Temps in the 100s are not meant to be mixed with strong odors, especially when they are horrific in nature. My dad pulled into an open field and for as far as I could see and smell there was decaying trash. Mounds of it. He told us to be quiet, not to say a word, only to watch. As he parked the outdated vehicle with no windows and walked around to open the back door I saw horror. My eyes met the eyes of other children, my age and younger. More than I could count. Where I would normally spend my days in school they spent their days here, I’m a waste field of garbage and infection. It was clear they were unhealthy, uncared for, espoused to the elements of the world. They crowded our red vehicle as if they were animals fighting for a meal, they each wanted the first selection.
4. The Truth
As we left I cried. “Where do they live?”, I asked my dad. He pointed to a wooden shack, a community lived there. They had shelter, they had food. It just wasn’t ideal.
When my parents gave up our house people felt the spirit of the LORD tell them to open up their own homes for my family. What if they had made excuses? Would my siblings and I grown up differently? I often wonder about those children in the dump. God did give them shelter and food but what if he told someone in a first world home sitting on an expensive sofa to give to a poverty mission in order to better provide for those children, His children? What if those people had made excuses to God?
Our money is important, if we use it wisely.
Difficult Money Lessons