When we first arrived in Uganda last week Nathalie told me, with great excitement, that it was now “grasshopper season” in the country. Apparently, fried grasshoppers are a delicacy in Uganda. But, um, no thank you I thought… I know I’m in a third world country and all but I don’t eat bugs usually. At least not on purpose.

All week everywhere we turned, someone was trying to sell me some fried grasshoppers. I managed to politely decline and wriggle out of every situation – until Saturday.

On Saturday, Nathalie took Joy and me to serve at M. As soon as we arrived, a beautiful young girl shyly approached us. She was carefully holding something in her hand, neatly wrapped in a banana leaf. She smiled her beautiful smile and proudly unfolded the banana leaf to reveal… fried grasshoppers.

This precious girl had heard that Nathalie was coming and was bringing visitors. In anticipation, she spent her entire morning scouring the grounds at M searching for grasshoppers, frying them and wrapping them in the most beautiful packaging she could find.

So there I stood looking at these big, green, ugly things – eyeballs and all. And Nathalie says “Shelly, don’t you want to try one?” And in that moment it hits me that this dear, beautiful girl is offering me – a perfect stranger – the very, very best that she has to offer. This child spends much of her time hungry and owns absolutely nothing of her own. And yet she took the time to find and prepare something for me. And that, in a nutshell, is Uganda at its finest.

You better believe I ate that thing. And it actually wasn’t bad… tasted kind of like roasted chicken skin. And it was the most sacrificial gift anyone has ever given me. The very poor do not give, as we do, from their abundance, they give straight from their hearts. They give everything they’ve got.

What about you? Can you make a sacrificial gift to the children of M this season? Can your children live with one less Christmas gift? Can you forego the new outfit for the office Christmas party? Can you prepare a few simple dishes for your Christmas Eve guests instead of a lavish feast?

If you would like to donate to the children of M and provide direct missionary support for Nathalie, please visit Here.

-Shelly