Matthew 25 Challenge Day 4: Giving Versus Sacrifice

This week, things on the blog and on my social media are going to be looking a little bit different. It's because this week, we are being challenged together through the World Vision Matthew 25 Challenge. To learn more about the challenge, click here.

"...I needed clothes and you clothed me..." Today's challenge is to wear the same clothes that you wore yesterday. 
Family challenge: spend some time going through each member in the family's closet and select a few nice items {clothes, toys, etc...} to give away. 
colorful clothes hanging in Bangladesh

Matthew 25 Challenge Day 4: Giving Versus Sacrifice

giving versus sacrifice rice field in Bangladesh
I'm horrible with names. Not only do I have the short term memory of a gnat, but I also am not the world's most observant person. But if you don't change your clothes, bingo bango, I suddenly have one more tool I can use to remember you {and your name} by. This tricky little pneumonic device doesn't usually work for me in places like the U.S. because it's the social norm to change clothes daily. However, for people in poor communities, even those in the U.S., getting new clothes doesn't happen too often. And having a closet full of clothing or more than a change or two of clothes is considered a luxury.
One of the realities I was faced with when I traveled with World Vision to Bangladesh last year was child labor. The M25 family guide focuses on child labor tomorrow so we will chat more on that then, but work in textile factories is quite common, especially for children.
As a mom of teenagers who care about what they wear, I was quick to notice on my first trip to Africa, that clothes are merely utilitarian. They cover your body. Take into account the beating clothes take when being washed on rocks {washing machines are a luxury they know little about} in the muddy red water hole, and well, clothes show wear.
My absolute favorite place to shop for clothes for myself is second hand. I'd rather dig through the piles of clothes in the bins at Goodwill Outlet than sort through a rack at Nordstrom. But so often, our second-hand cast-offs are what make it into the piles up for grabs overseas. It's why the word nice in the family challenge at the top of this post is in italics. 
It's not wrong to donate something that is no longer useful to us, just make sure when you do donate it, that the item has plenty of life left in it for others to enjoy too. 
This article from Kristen Welch is one of my favorites on the topic of donations. 
Dear World: Let's Stop Giving Our Crap to the Poor
a group of boys waving in zambia
I learned very quickly on my very first day in Uganda, that there is a difference between giving and sacrifice. I've been in church my whole life and every Sunday I've seen an offering taken, but that first Sunday in Uganda, I've never seen an offering like it
The pastor had given the sermon, and after the sermon, an offering was taken. First the children's offering and then the adults. Children came up proudly bringing what they had dropping coins in the bag. Some children brought up bags of food and placed it at the altar. They brought what they had.
As Americans, we are giving, but do we give until it hurts? Do we give when it's a sacrifice? I watched these Ugandans give when they had nothing but the pumpkin from their garden that was the food for them that week. They had faith knowing that God would provide. Could you even imagine if the people in your church gave the way that these Ugandan's gave!
church service in uganda

What was it like wearing the same outfit that you wore yesterday? Did people notice?

Don't forget to join in and share your experience from the challenge today. Use #M25challenge to find, follow and post on social media.

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