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Sep 29, 2014

Luke is ten years old. He has two adopted sisters, Darvi and Jemila, and a brother, Caleb. His sisters were adopted from Ethiopia, and all four children have also become friends with other adopted Ethiopian children in their area. Sometimes they talk about what life would look like had they been born someone else, or in a different country, or to a different family. 

“I started to recognize differences between America and Ethiopia—and they were big,” Luke said. “Between my brother and me, we had four soccer balls in the garage. I noticed a picture my parents had from their trip to Ethiopia. A group of boys was playing with a soccer ball made out of plastic bags. Then my brother read a book called Take Your Best Shot about a 12-year-old boy who raised money for other children by shooting hoops. So we talked about the difference that one kid could make.”

Luke went on. “My mom and I talked and she said, ‘Let’s see how much is in your piggy bank.’ So I emptied it. Then we searched our house, the car, the junk drawer, and in the couch cushions, and had $20 in change. I thought, Maybe if we get a few other people to look for change around their house, we could raise about one hundred dollars.

Luke put all the money they had collected into a metal pail, including some money from collecting pop cans. Then he told everyone he knew what he wanted to do and soon had $50 in change. Luke’s dad, Ryan, and his grandfather told him they would each match what he was able to raise. When Luke had raised $300 in change, those matches made a total of $900! “We tried to move the pail into our car to hand deliver it to Bethany Global Services, and I could not move it! It was so heavy.

“It does not take a lot to change something if you really want to,” Luke continued. “It doesn’t matter how big or old you are—it’s the passion and the heart you have. There are other girls and boys out there. God can use your gift. I chose to give this money to Bethany because they helped us bring my two sisters home. When I gave the money I raised to Bethany, they told me it would go to help at least a dozen families—if not more depending on family size and their unique needs—for a year and half.”

Amy, Luke’s mom, said, “Something as simple as change is big. Luke taught me that God can use pennies. Seeing my son do something out of his heart for others, I saw his joy and I was filled with joy as well.”

Wise perhaps beyond his years, Luke said, “Money has no value. It’s how you use it and whose hand you give it to.”