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Posted by on December 21, 2012

Have you taken a look at Bethania’s gift catalog? What an awesome opportunity to give to others at a time when we are reminded of the blessings in our lives – family near, good food on our tables, gifts under the tree, and a God who gave Himself to restore a relationship with us. During this season especially, I am overwhelmed by God’s goodness in my life and am all the more eager to use the resources He’s given me to be an extension of His love to those in need.
As I look through the gift catalog, I see a variety of gifts – from a $5 backpack to the sponsorship of a children’s home for $25,000. How I wish I could choose the latter! But along with the pictures, a short description, and a suggested donation, I am flooded with memories of my own visits to Bethania.

When I see the pair of $5 shoes, I think of the piles of dusty shoes sitting outside the chapel in Kannivadi as the children worshipped inside. The option to feed a children’s home for one day reminds me of the delicious meals I enjoyed with the kids. As I sat with them at long tables, they happily devoured their hot rice and curry, idli and coconut chutney, and fruit – each of them able to eat until they were satisfied. I’m amazed that all 40 kids can be fed three meals for only $25. School supplies for $15? I wish I could adequately share with you the immense joy and pride on the kids’ faces showed me their school work. Small notebooks were flipped open to reveal straight lines of writing and math equations, carefully penned in blue ink. The kids were so eager to share with me the things they were learning – happy for the opportunity to learn and hopeful for their dreams of a future job. And that future career has become a reality for many Bethania students, as the ministry funds a college education for them – another item in the gift catalog.

It’s so simple to scroll through the catalog, pick an item that looks good, enter the payment information, and submit the donation. But do you realize what an impact that simple act of generosity makes?  Each kid that I met at Kannivadi who had a pair of shoes, enjoyed three meals a day, attended school with the needed supplies, and slept with a roof over their heads each night did so because of such simple acts – most likely done by people they may never meet face to face. Generosity and love, though simple, are completely changing the lives of so many children in need.  What an immense privilege to be able to give such gifts!

Greetings. I’m Sarah – a young lady whose heart is constantly pulled across valleys, mountains, and oceans to red dirt and smiling faces in South India. I currently live in Portland, Oregon where I’m finishing up my bachelor’s degree at Multnomah University. My elementary school days, however, were spent in Kodaikanal, India where God began to cultivate my love for the gospel and for the world. In the fall of 2011, I had the awesome blessing to get to return to Kodaikanal to do my practicum teaching at the same school I attended as a child. During that semester, I visited the Kannivadi Bethania Kids Home three times. I was captivated by the amazing children there whose smiles radiated the joy and contentment that comes from being cared for and loved well. I’m so excited about the ways that Bethania Kids is giving the irreplaceable gift of family and love to the hurting children of India. Back in Oregon, my heart still beats for those kids at Bethania as well as the countless children in India who still desperately need that family and love. Thank you for joining us on this blog as we share what Bethania Kids is doing, explore the issues that plague the beautiful country of India, and seek God’s heart for those in need.

3 Responses to Simple Gifts

  1. David Granner says:

    Hi Sarah,

    What an awesome sharing and great encouragement to our supporters of Bethania Kids! It brings great joy to my heart to see youthful enthusiasm for our important ministry. I was on the board from it’s founding to about three years ago, when I started a much needed sabbatical. I’m committed to Bethania Kids for life, and will be in Kodai in February helping to launch an ESL program within our ministries. I’m glad you’re on the team with us. Hope to meet you some day. Thanks for your inspiring testamony.

    Your friend in Christ,

    David Granner

    • Sarah Christine says:

      David,
      Thanks for your encouraging reply. How awesome that you’ve been able to work with Bethania so faithfully since the ministry began. I’d love to hear more about the ESL program you’re starting in Kodai. I have some background in ESL, so I’m definitely interested and excited in what you’re doing.
      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
      Sarah

  2. Kate says:

    Awesome post, Sarah! Beautifully written!

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