Here are some thoughts from Erin Krabel of Chrisman, IL, who recently hosted a Garage Sale 4 Orphans. Enjoy.
“I recently finished reading some books that have really changed my life, namely Radical by David Platt, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and finally 7 by Jen Hatmaker. Through these authors, God has been challenging me to examine my life and my priorities. It has been a difficult process, and I found myself wondering what to do.
It’s an overwhelming question, really. What do I do? What can I do?
Compared to the staggering need in the world..I can’t do much.
Compared to what I’m doing now…a whole lot more.
So I continued puttering through my life with all this conviction and confusion swirling around in my head, and found myself reading Jen Hatmaker’s blog. (Warning–stay far, far away from this woman and her writings if you want to continue enjoying life as is. Jen will mess you up for Jesus). It was there that I learned about Garage Sale 4 Orphans. And that’s when I knew what I was going to do first!
Every time I read about these girls aging out of their orphanages at 12 or 13, I get teary. I cannot wrap my mind around that kind of hopelessness, loneliness and destitution. For all of my life, I have had family surrounding me. I have always known that no matter what happened there were not one or two, but dozens of people who loved me fiercely, and would be willing and able to care for me if I needed them to. In fact, I have never really given the matter much thought. I’ve been able to take for granted all my life that I would always have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on my plate. To consider life otherwise is unfathomable to me. But it is reality for so many around the world.
The purging began. I was looking at everything we owned with new eyes. ”Do we need this?” ”Do we need this more than those girls in Haiti need a house?” Lots and lots of stuff was set aside to sell. Friends and church family donated generously. Pretty soon, the space of our business began to look like a thrift store.
We held our sales in two different towns on two consecutive Saturdays. By our second Saturday, we had received so many donations that pricing each item was impossible. With the exception of a few bigger ticket items, we just asked shoppers to make a donation. People were incredibly generous, and by the end of the day, our grand total was over $2900!!!
That would have been a remarkable ending to this story alone. But God wasn’t done working through this event yet. Just this weekend, I was given an amazing gift to match what we raised during the yard sale and complete an entire safehouse project!
I never would have believed that a yard sale could be one of the most faith-building experiences of my life, but it has been. I am humbled at how God takes our feeble efforts and does mighty things with them.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. ~ Ephesians 3:20-21