What do we think of when we think of luxury? Maybe a fancy car, or an expensive hotel? Just to keep our materialistic minds in check, let’s look at luxury from a refugee point of view, shall we?

So far, our kids have been in school for approximately 1 1/2 months. The day they arrived, the overwhelming comments where such, “We have come to Europe!” The excitement on their faces from the beautiful campuses of our Adventist boarding schools was enough to bring tears to eyes. Never in their lives have they seen such a beautiful place, and this was their new home.

After a few weeks in school, our ADRA Rwanda project manager was talking with our students. They were telling her about their “firsts” in life. They very much like having three meals a day, for the first time in their life. They like sleeping on a mattress, for the first time in their life. They like that when it rains, they are in a REAL building with a REAL roof that keeps them dry. Luxury all of the sudden takes on a new meaning.

These “first” and more are things that we take for granted everyday. How often have we slept on a dirt floor, or skipped a meal? I can’t seem to remember a time! My kids complain they don’t have enough legos. So when I was in Rwanda last month, I bought a soccer ball for my son. It is not an ordinary soccer ball, like we would find at Target. No, it’s a Rwandan soccer ball, made of plastic bags all tied tightly together. When he complains about his toy supply, I hand him the ball. I think the five-year old brain is starting to understand.

So now I ask, what do we not have “enough” of? For my son, it is legos. For us adults, is it clothes, coffee, expensive hotel stays? If we were to sacrifice even a small amount of personal comfort and pleasure, would we be okay? Would life go on? Is sacrifice in the equation?

After meeting some of the neatest, most God-centered kids in the world, I am willing to make sacrifices in my own life if it means bringing yet another kid out of the camp and into school. For them, it is the difference between LIVING and just existing. I am not an extravagant person to begin with, but we all have our simple pleasures. Is there something you can live without? Can you make a sacrifice in your life, so one more can really LIVE?

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