Sunday, December 28, 2008

In the Spirit of Giving

Audrey has friends who travel each Christmastime to South America to give humanitarian aid there.  She hopes to do this herself someday, but in the meantime...  She thought it would be neat to provide Christmas for a family in need here in the Salt Lake Valley.    In her sweet way, she asked Emily, Randy, and I if we would like to participate by purchasing "Christmas" to give away rather than for each other.  Audrey contacted Inner-City missionaries from our ward who suggested a refugee family from Bhutan (which is located at the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains -- I had to look it up.)

For family home evening the Monday before Christmas, we went shopping and had a great time finding new clothes and new watches for the entire family.  The girls (and Clint) boxed them, and wrapped them, and tied them with bows.
We dawned our Christmas hats and drove downtown to meet Ganga (dad), Khina (mother), and Pabi (19-year-old daughter). Sons, Bishnu and Hem were away, but another brother, his wife, and baby had just arrived from Bhutan.  The young adult children spoke only a little English the mother and dad, not an ounce.  They invited us into their small, but very clean apartment.  They brought us plates of fresh fruit and warm, sweet rice milk, and entertained us with their music.
Sorry about the dark video.  Not enough light in the apartment; but this will give you a feel for their music. This instrument had four strings, pegs, a bridge, and was played with a rosined bow (with bells on the tip.) Sounds a lot like a violin, right? Audrey and I gave it a try. Hmmm... Not really much like a violin at all -- as we soon found out.

The family told us of their village in Bhutan.  Last July it had entirely gone up in flames destroying the belongings and homes of over 1400 people. They had very little to begin with, but after this, they had nothing -- except each other.

Tonight we supposedly gave our Christmas away, but we received so much in return.  I left this good family's home feeling very grateful, and filled with a "glow" after experiencing the sweet appreciation and giving spirit of this humble family.

 "Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than things." -- President Thomas S. Monson


  1. That is so great! I love their names. Really sad about the fire, though.
    I hope everything is okay with them and it looks like you had some good experiences!

  2. I'm so inspired by your family, and sweet Audrey's good heart. I'll bet they'll always remember this Christmas.

  3. It really was quite the little experience. I hope you don't mind, but I didn't want to take the time to explain it all so I directed people to your site to read up on it. Thanks mom!