In an article by Intellectual Take Out called, “Why You Should Spend More Money on Experiences than Things,” it said,
” While new things might make us happier at first, we adapt to having them, and their meaning to us changes over time. So rather than buying that shiny new Apple watch or shelling out for a brand new BMW, research suggests that you’ll get more happiness by spending that hard-earned cash on experiences like art exhibits, participating in outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling..”
When we began moving from our mobile home to the home we now live in, we had watched too many home and garden television shows and began to clean through all the “things” that had cluttered our life. The rule was, “If we didn’t use it for a year, did we really need it?”
Lots of sentimental and other items went in the trash bin or donation bag. The result was an easier move and simple living. Our Christmases and birthdays in our marriage had begun with gift giving and have now become about gifts of experience. Our short term missions trip to Honduras taught us this, too.
While donations and prayer got us to Honduras, some expenses still came out of our pocket. We didn’t mind because this was another gift of experience. God was moving our life to another culture, and using that culture to prepare me for a life of missions in a new field. He showed us how happy and content the Honduran believers were with so little. I couldn’t help but think of the American culture at that moment, and how the culture wants what their neighbor has, and is never content to live with what God has gifted them.
We take for granted our home, our stuff, and our lives every day. A missionary in Phoenix recently shared in his newsletter how the refugees he sponsors were amazed at having an apartment, clothes, and the basics that are the norm for most Americans. A book I read from a Sudan refugee (now American citizen) was amazed at the size of the houses and his room when he was adopted into the United States. As I journey into this new direction and learn about the peoples on the move, people groups, and develop relationships online, I look forward to new experiences. Experience is the greatest teacher.
Your prayers and financial partnership will help me serve online, help other churches and missionaries, and work with others to use the gift of technology across the globe in very creative ways, because as I have learned, people want to support this kind of ministry, and are uncertain themselves how to do it.