Mine do, anyway.
They don't look after their possessions, responding to our entreaties as to why they've destroyed yet another thing with "you can just buy us a new one"
But one of the things that irritate Adam and myself to no end is the constant "I'm starving" that is moaned to us multiple times a day. No matter when they last ate, or how much they shovelled away, or what they recently turned their noses up at, you'd think we never feed them.
About 6 months ago, we had had enough of it from Troy. He was a little over 10 at the time, and we were smack bang in the middle of a rather difficult year with him, from Autism related behaviours. He was being excessively selfish and demanding, so we knew we needed to nip this in the bud very quickly, lest it become an ingrained habit which doesn't bode well for, you know, being a productive member of society.
One evening, absolutely fed up with him being elevated for about 2 hours, comprising of yelling and screaming that he was starving and going to die, Adam opened the computer and in the images section, googled
Then we showed Troy the pictures.
THIS, son, is starving.
Troy was absolutely shocked. Like Jon Acuff's daughter did, Troy responded with "That's not real, right?" and "That baby didn't die, did it?"
We let it sink in, we answered his questions, and impressed upon him how incredibly fortunate and privileged he was/is. We prayed with him, and still musing over the reality of what he had seen, his behaviour forgotten, he went to bed.
About an hour later, he came out again. We could tell he had been crying.
"Can I send the children some food? Maybe some clothes?"
It had hit home.
We then explained to him that he can, in a round about way, through Compassion, through whom we sponsor Delmar from Guatemala. We told him, if he likes, we would sign him up and he could do jobs to earn the money to send to a child somewhere in Africa. Then we sent him back to bed.
For the next few months, intermittently, Troy would ask if we could "choose a child". We would remind him that he would need to do chores, and that would usually have him abandon the subject. However, about a month ago, he was asking us every day. So I sat him down and worked out some chores that he would need to do to pay for a sponsor child. We really spoke to him about how important this was, and that it would be for a very long time.
He said he understood. He loved the idea that they would be going to school 'together'. And on further.
So, we opened up the compassion website and clicked on the criteria Troy wanted...
And there, waiting for 273 days for a sponsor, was Andrew, age 10, from Uganda.
Troy was jubilant. He had helped give food and clothes and school to someone in Africa.
Troy is listed as the correspondent, and he is so stinking excited. Of course, he's not so excited about having to do his chores everyday, and we are still battling the bad attitude there (so frustrating!) but I think once they start writing letters to each other, this will change.
The pictures we showed him still haunt him. He was being snotty the other day, and we asked him if he needed to see the pictures again. He quickly answered no.
Hopefully, this will help foster a heart for those less fortunate. I hope Andrew is only the first of many children Troy will sponsor in his life.