A missionary at Kumba, in the Cameroon, was explaining to her class the western custom of giving gifts at Christmas. She summed it up by saying that Christmas gifts were an expression of joy to God and love for our friends because of the coming of Jesus into this world.

A few days later on Christmas morning a boy brought the missionary a beautiful sea shell as a present. The teacher was amazed and asked him where he got such a lovely shell. He replied, at the seashore.

“But,” she said, “that is 30 miles away.”

The young boy replied, “Long journey part of gift.”

On a CRF trip, I went to a very remote area of Guatemala where Mayan peoples lived. It was a long trip. We ran out of roads, so we had to 4 wheel it there. Finally, we couldn’t go any further in our vehicle and had to swim across a river to arrive at our destination.

When I arrived, the chief gave me a Coke. He had heard from somewhere that I liked Cokes. It cost him a week’s wage to buy this beverage. It took a day’s journey to obtain it.

I was speechless. The journey was long, treacherous and costly just to get me a Coke. I told him that he shouldn’t have made the long journey just for me. But it was part of the gift.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

– JOHN 1:14, NIV

Jesus left heaven and came to earth just for us. That was quite a journey. But it was part of His gift.

When I tell a sponsored child, that their sponsor is from America—they are amazed. In most parts of Africa, the further a person travels to visit you corresponds to how important you are. When a child finds out that he has a sponsor from so far away, the child feels more important. His esteem is raised. 

I hope you know the value of your sponsorship to children who live so far away. It not only gives life, but it also gives esteem. Giving a Christmas gift of sponsorship is a good way to celebrate the holiday. It means even more when your gift comes from so far away.  

God took a lot of long journeys to show us His love.

From heaven to earth.

From streets of gold to stables of straw.

From security to susceptibility.

Long journey part of gift.