Posted by: janpierce | October 25, 2008

Feast or Famine?

Soooooo, the stock market went crazy. Most of us have lost about a fourth of our savings here in the states.  We have a condo sitting empty with no renter in sight and a payment to make. However, I have a london broil defrosted to cook for dinner. Feast or Famine? Seems we are doing fine for the present and God is still in control.

We’re looking at November and entering into the traditional American holiday season. I saw a post on a blog written by a young couple who are friends of our son and it mentioned a movement called Advent Conspiracy. This group advocates buying just one less Christmas gift, especially the “obligation” ones where you buy something the person doesn’t really need just to cover your bases in case they buy you something, etc. Instead they encourage a gift to someone less fortunate here or abroad. Can we extricate ourselves from the Christmas crazies and do something simpler, something more in line with what we say we believe about Christmas? How long do we continue to be trapped in a six to eight week spending frenzy that wears us out and costs us money we can’t afford all the while worrying that we are letting others down or disappointing them anyway? I say we be bold and figure out a better way.

I’ve stopped writing a hundred Christmas cards that have no real heart in the message but just a signature and a promise to write when things are more settled. I am not buying gifts for people I work with or just know casually. I’m not spending money to decorate my home in ever more Martha Stewart ways. I am trying not to buy four presents for each family member. I am not trying to do less for the grandchildren— some things are sacred. Think of the day after Christmas–relief, exhaustion, level-headed thinking about spending and giving. You’re glad for family ties and time together. We should be like that before the big day.

On to ministry things. We are booking our tickets for our trip to India. Roger will go right after Christmas and I’ll join him at the end of January. I will be home for Benjamin’s second birthday since we missed his first birthday last year. We’re starting to plan where we’ll stay, who we’ll get to visit and scheduling important meetings to plan future ministry. One Handful of Rice will be doing a variety of practical work:  buying rice, buying cots and other necessities for the orphans, distributing blankets to widows, etc. Roger’s work will be focused on training house church leaders both in the Delhi area and in A.P. It is really exciting to see how God has taken us from knowing next to nothing about India or about ministry and how He is leading us in the process of being useful. We don’t claim to understand everything, but we press ahead to do the very best He calls us to today.

How are you doing in your walk with God? Has the financial mess affected your peace of mind? I find I am praying specifically for our needs, which I should be doing all the time. Are you sensing your need for God in this up and down world? Are you able to continue being generous in a time when some of the bounty has disappeared? Is it feast or famine?

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Responses

  1. Thank you, Jan, for allowing me a visit to your blog. Thanks to Coffeegirl who pointed me here today.

    I dug for your very first post; I often find I can hear the blogger’s purpose by reading that first post. You don’t arrange your archives that way, but when I read your post on One Handful of Rice, I heard your burden.

    It thrills me that you have gotten so involved! It appears you first supported a child, then visited, then raised funds to improve their meager diet, and now are planning to go for an extended stay to teach English. Wow!

    South Asians are dear to me. Thank you for your part in ministering to them.

    E. T. Tenna from http://www.myasianside.blogspot.com

  2. Hi E.T.,
    Yes, things did begin that way. I actually did the two months of teaching last winter and will make another trip to India this coming January and February. I am finding the need to change or add to the ministry with the development of my own scholarship program. It is very hard to ensure that the money given in support of orphans is actually used for the purposes given. Thus the need to buy gifts and necessary items in-country and to manage the spending first hand. I am just now learning how to do that. I love the dalit people and feel fortunate to be able to travel to India each year. Bless you in your work as well. JP

  3. Jan, I am thrilled to hear you are planning to return to India again in the new year. How is the fund raising going? In specific how much are the cots and how many do you need. This has been on my heart awhile to help with supplying cots. How many children are currently in the orphanage?


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