LINCOLN’S “BUY TANGAWIZI A BED” FUND
This is Lincoln.
Lincoln is my three year-old boy. He’s quick-witted, kind-hearted, and a pretty good break-dancer.
One of my goals for this year is to teach Lincoln to pray. We’ve prayed with and for Lincoln since he was a baby. But I’m hoping to teach him that he can talk to God whenever he wants to, and that God listens and responds. Like most three year-olds, Lincoln has a really inquisitive mind, and prayers usually range from “God, thank you for the light” to “Thank you for floors” to “Thank you for momma.” His interest in biblical studies mostly revolves around babies in baskets and trying to spot Jesus like a “Where’s Waldo” game. Teaching kids the truths of the gospel can be tricky.
Wednesday night, long after Lincoln had gone to bed, I prayed specifically that Lincoln’s inquisitive mind would lead him toward questions about God.
So yesterday (the next day) I get home from work, and Lincoln was talking about a picture of a boy he had seen that day. He was saying, “…the boy with the blankets and not many toys…” I had no idea what he was talking about. My wife explained that they’d been looking at Gabriele Galimberti’s moving photo project called “Toy Stories.” Galimberti travelled over a period of 18 months and took photos of children with their most prized possession. Not surprisingly, the kids all chose their favorite toy. So we sat together as a family and laughed at the cute pictures of the kids in their rooms with their toys. Then we got to the very last picture, and I realized what Lincoln had been talking about:
“See! The boy with the blankets and not many toys,” Lincoln said. The picture is of “Tangawizi,” a little boy from Kenya who looks to be about Lincoln’s age.
“That’s right,” I said. “You know where he lives? He lives in Africa, where some people don’t have so many toys. Some people there don’t even have food. And this boy looks like he doesn’t even have a bed.”
“Well then we have to buy him one!” Lincoln responded.
It was a proud moment for me, and I knew it was a direct response to my prayer the night before. I told Lincoln that was the right kind of thinking. Then I explained that maybe we could save some money and buy a bed for a kid like Tangawizi, through an organization like World Vision. A boy like him would get a bed, I explained, not realizing that answer was insufficient for Lincoln.
“No, we have to buy this boy a bed! Let’s go buy it right now from the store!”
So I made Lincoln a deal. I told him that if he could come up with the money to buy Tangawizi a bed, I would track down the photographer who took the picture, to see if we can find Tangawizi’s parents. I asked Lincoln if he was willing to use the money from his piggy-bank to by Tangawizi a bed? Yes. I asked him if maybe he’d be willing to ask other people to help donate money to buy the bed? Yes. Lincoln asked if we could fly on a plane to take him the bed. After a little explanation and brainstorming, he settled for just shipping him a bed. So it was settled. Lincoln has set out to raise the money to buy Tangawizi a bed, and ship it all the way to Kenya. Here is the poster my wife helped Lincoln make. Lincoln was adamant that she transcribe the poster word-for-word, so she did:
Lincoln is a naturally soft-hearted kid. He has a big heart for people, and when he’s not flying around the house, he’s mostly pretty kind with his baby sister. But I think that God, in no uncertain terms, was revealing something about His heart to me. It turns out social injustice doesn’t make sense in the minds of kids, just like it doesn’t make sense to the heart of God.
May we become more like God through the examples of our children.
If you’d like to donate to Lincoln’s “Buy Tangawizi a Bed!” fund, please email me at morrow_nick (at) hotmail.com. You can also help by “liking” or sharing on social media outlets. And Gabriele Gamberti, if you somehow get to reading this, please contact me. I’ve got a three year-old hell bent on buying your friend Tangawizi a bed.
UPDATE: Several people have already responded saying they’d like to help Lincoln. Here’s the most immediate way you can help: you can make donations via PayPal @ firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll post updates as soon as we raise enough money to buy the bed and postage!