Monday, December 7, 2009

Giving All

She called to get an account number so she could wire a donation. It’s a question we often get, so as we told her the proper information we didn’t think much about her request.

An elderly Chinese lady from a rural village in another province, she had reached the stage of life where time was plentiful and enjoyed chatting like elderly women everywhere are prone to do. We listened as she told her story.

“I heard about your organization from a friend of mine,” she said. “She worked as a nurse at your foster home for a while, and when she came back to her hometown, she told me about the work that you do there.”

“Can we send you a calendar?” we asked. “Maybe some pictures of our children?” Knowing she would likely be unable to travel for a visit, we wanted to give her a glimpse of the children she was helping.

“Oh, that’s not necessary,” she replied. “I’m blind, so I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the pictures. From the stories I've heard, I can imagine what it must be like!”

This is the second year that she has made a donation. Sending $1,000 USD each year, we knew the donation was no small sum for her. But we didn’t yet know just how much of a sacrifice it was.

“I’ll be going with my friend to the bank very soon to send you the money we’ve saved.” She went on to say that she would take a bus from her village to the nearest city where there was a bank so that she could wire her donation. A friend would accompany her to help her fill out the forms.

At this point, we overheard someone in the background, quietly reminding her to save enough money for her return bus fare. Quickly we realized that she wasn’t just giving us a donation. She was giving us all that she had.

After gently asking a few more questions, we found out that she and her husband make about $200 USD a month, or $2,400 USD a year. For the last two years, these elderly rural farmers have donated almost half of their annual income to the foster home. Saving even enough for a bus fare is something they must be reminded to do…

We’re thankful for each and every donation that comes to the foster home. But, when we heard this story, we were especially humbled and reminded that with each gift, we’re being entrusted with a great responsibility.

Though there are certainly donors who give more than this elderly Chinese couple, we don’t know of anyone else who gives all.


Though we haven't visited this couple in their home, we imagine these pictures, shot in villages around China (including our own!), reflects their lives as well.


  1. That story is like the woman who have the tiny amount of money at the temple while Jesus watched. There were many who gave much more, but none who gave all like she did. What a beautiful story!

  2. The story Angie mentioned was the FIRST thing I thought of when reading this post!!! Oh, that I might have a heart like that one day...and one day soon!

  3. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I read of the sacrifices this sweet couple were making. I pray God blesses their lives mightily. We are so blessed and take it for granted too often!! What a precious heart this couple has. I just wrote a post over on my blog about giving and I couldn't have picked a better example of the kind of love I was trying to describe besides this one. Blessings!!

  4. Another post that should have come with a "Kleenex" warning!!... what a truly beautiful story about a truly beautiful heart! Like the others, I was reminded about the story in the Bible that Angie spoke of. This to me is the purest kind of heart... truly giving all that they have for the sake of the children. I pray that God blesses them in ways they have never imagined for their incredible selfless, sacrificial hearts! There are no words to adequately describe how touched I am right now.

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful story.
    God bless! <><

  5. Wow. What if we all gave like that. No more more more hunger! Wow.

  6. And her gift is no doubt multiplied MANY times over.
    Oh if we could all give so selflessly!
    How different life would be!

  7. Carrie, may I share that story with the readers of my small adoption newsletter? The lady and her husband are certainly examples more of us should follow.
    If you want to know more about my newsletter let me know or

  8. THAT is a beautiful example of this season of giving.....
    giving love to the least of these. He desires our all, doesn't He? Our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength....

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  10. What a beautiful story of giving! I wonder what HER story is...