Speaking of "moments" this Christmas, I have to record one of my very favorites this season.
One of my favorite words from the scriptures is "REMEMBER."
This Christmas we got a chance to remember the great kids we visited while we were in Cambodia last year.
CICFO, this orphanage we visited there, touched my heart from the first time I read the kids' bios years before (my friend who is on the board had sent them to me as a service idea). And if just reading the bios touched me that much, you can imagine how it felt to actually be in that place among those wonderful people so chock-full of love. (Much more about our visit with them back HERE.)
So skip to this Fall when Dave and I sat contemplating what kind of service to give as a family this Christmas. We wanted to do something close to our hearts that our kids could really relate to and get into.
As we pondered, all of a sudden CICFO came up. We found out they were in need of some extra funding this next year and knew that should be our goal.
We realized the perfect avenue to knit our hearts back together with those children and raise the money they needed would be to hold a "Children for Children Concert."
What is a "Children for Children Concert"? you might ask. It's a grand idea my parents had years and years ago that became one of our family Christmas traditions. We would invite families over, and the children would all perform for the parents. The parents would pay (make a donation) to watch and we would send all the donations to whatever charity we were trying to help that year.
Two of my sisters have carried on this tradition beautifully and Dave and I helped our kids hold our own Children for Children concert a few years back (back HERE with a little extra background information). Years following that one we found different Christmas service opportunities (like here and here), but now that we are more settled, we figured the stars aligned perfectly to start the C for C tradition once again.
We asked our neighbors (who visited CICFO with us last year) if they wanted to help (which of course they did) and got down to business.
We held several meetings before the big day and tried to get the kids to take the lead in the planning and organization of it all. (It is a Children for Children concert after all.)
(Let's pretend like Max is actually Elle in that pic, because he was gone darn it, but this "post-concert" planning pic. is the only one I got.)
The kids (with a little...sometimes a lot of help from us) made a guest list, sent out invitations, compiled who would be performing what, sent out reminders, etc.,
Grace kind of took this on for a Young Women personal progress project and did the emailing and also worked hard to make a pretty awesome video.
Finally the night arrived.
We made desert:
The kids set up all the chairs, and whipped up the program:
And most importantly, got the donation box ready:
Grace welcomed everyone and explained what would be happening.
We showed her video first thing to let all these good neighbors know a little more about CICFO.
cambodian orphanage from grace pothier on Vimeo.
Oh man I can't say enough about how precious that video is to me...awesome job, Grace!
To whole families performing together. It was awesome.
Between each number the kids took turns telling a little story about the kids in Cambodia.
You should have heard their whooping and hollering, cheering everyone on. It was so incredibly sweet.
Now, I can't speak for everyone else, but to me the spirit of love seeping into everything that night almost took my breath away. So much love in that crowded room that evening. Love for our sweet neighbors who came to support during a busy Christmas season. Love for the kids in Cambodia. Love for the opportunity to remember. Love for service and the joy it brings.
Yes, that front room of ours, chock-full of wall-to-wall people we adore, was a beautiful sight to see...and hear, ringing with talent they gave with love. And a "moment" I don't want to ever forget.
Elle's friend McKenna wrapped up the music with the most beautiful song.
Our friend Brian, who served his mission in Cambodia and was with us over there as well, wrapped it up having the kids sit how those in Cambodia do, and shared his testimony in Cambodian.
We got to mingle over dessert and catch up as time seemed to sort of stand still in the midst of Christmas festivities.
Love all those people so much.
Then the kids did the donation counting.
More checks trickled in the next week and then we had our final meeting.
Oh how I loved seeing them count up the donations a few times to make sure they got the numbers right and the excitement that filled us all as we realized what a large chunk we had that would also be matched by the Eyrealm Foundation to donate to CICFO.
If anyone is interested in joining us donating to CICFO or even just finding out more about this great organization, their web-page is HERE.
Merry Christmas "Adam" as my kids like to call this day preceding Christmas "Eve."