Last week I celebrated (well, I had a birthday, I'm not sure how celebratory it was) my birthday. I received birthday wishes from almost every family that we work with here. What I didn't get were gifts from my families and that is because I keep it a strict policy not to accept gifts from our families and they are aware of that. The reason? It's because the majority of the families that we work with live on less than $7.00 a day. I think the family that makes the most money still only earns $250.00 each month. I have a hard time justifying them using their little bit of money on my family. Yesterday though, the grandmother and mother of a little girl that Oscar and I sponsor stopped by our house unannounced. This is not unusual. Our house is on a main bus route and often times as families that we work with walk by the pop in for a minute. As we were sitting and chatting, the grandmother reached into her bag and said, "you had a birthday last week" she handed me not 1 but 2 gifts. Immediately my heart sank. This family is one of our $7.00 a day families. I hated the thought of the sacrifices that she made to get me two gifts. As I was about to say "No, I can't accept that" my Pastor's voice ran through my head. "Don't rob me of my blessing" I opened the first gift. It was a set of knives. I stared at her in disbelief. The day before I had a conversation with the leader of our fundraising team and told him how we really needed some money to update things in the kitchen of Esther's House. That morning I had just told Oscar that we really needed some new knives as I was struggling to open a plastic bag with one of my knives. Before I could say anything she said to me "I don't know why, but God told me to get you these knives so I obeyed." Wow. What a sacrifice that must have been for her. Two days pay at least. What an example of faith and obedience she demonstrated. I thanked her. I told her why God had told her to buy them and told her I was astounded by her faith. The second gift was a wall hanging that she said she just thought would look nice in my house. She's right. It's hanging right next to my front door for everyone who visits. To me it will be a new reminder. It will remind me to have faith, to always obey God, and to never rob someone of their blessing.