We Bought a Zoo (and then some) / by Rachel Nordgren

My own perceived cleverness at the title of this article is making me giggle. Probably more than it should. Please forgive me for being cheesy!

I've shared about our plan to get rid of things, our plan for having a garage sale, and our plan to donate all of our proceeds to World Vision. Let me make one thing very clear before you read on: we didn't want to. Both Hans and I thought up approximately 194 different things to do with that money that did not involve the word "donation". Paying off debt, buying a bed from Ikea, new shoes, savings, landscaping supplies, a new purse, etc.


We knew that donating is what God had put on our hearts to do. We knew that Matthew 19:21 was pretty clear about God's thoughts on possessions. We knew that He would provide for our needs. We knew that He had given us other ways to pay off our debt.

And we still grumbled...ugh.

Isn't it always like that? In the face of extravagant provision and extravagant blessing, we grumble when God asks us to obey and give up just a smidgen of it? When God invites us to be a part of the kingdom-building work He's busting out around the globe, why do we complain?

Because we're selfish sinners not yet fully sanctified.

But oh Lord, I want to be.

Let me pause here to make a very clear distinction: good words don't save us. Only Jesus can do that. Good works are the evidence of a life saved by Jesus.

So, Hans and I moved forward with the garage sale. Three days, lots of bargaining, and approximately 41 bug bites later, we had made a tidy $380! Seriously...$380 from stuff we had sitting around the house, stuff we didn't need and stuff we definitely don't miss.

Ya'll, even during the sale, we would cruise through the house and look for other stuff to put out there. Simplifying is fun and ridiculously addictive ;)

After we had torn down the sale, we did decide to spend $20 on Chipotle. Because: 1. Guacamole. 2. I didn't want to cook dinner. 3. We didn't think God would mind.

When we sat down to look through World Vision's Gift Catalog, the "joyful" part of giving did kick in. It was actually really fun to have $360 to spend. The World Vision Gift Catalog is basically a way to buy practical and sustainable gifts for people who need them. You can buy chickens, goats, cows, bikes, school supplies, beehives, clothing, medicine, vocational training, and a bunch of other things. Animals give people an extra source of food and income (consuming and selling milk, cheese, eggs, etc.), supporting education gives third-world children the tools to improve their lives and countries, and clothing and shelter give people necessities that we take for granted.

Here's a video that explains more...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUOJURcUWLo]


The picture at the beginning of this article is my World Vision sponsored child, her father, and the cow that I bought for them a few years ago through the Gift Catalog. I love that picture...it's a poignant reminder that $75 can mean hope for a family across the world.

So, here's what bought with $360... - Four Chickens | $50 - A Sheep | $126 - Education for One Child | $32 - Share of a School | $100 - Career Training for Two Women | $50

I feel like we bought a zoo. And then some :)

World Vision also has a Handcrafted Gifts section, where you can buy things like jewelry and coffee AND help people in need at the same time!

Read about World Vision's Financial Accountability.

What do you think about the Gift Catalog?

Under Grace, Rachel

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