Lessons from a Lemonade Stand

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012

We’re so very grateful for writer/blogger Lisa Archinal and her precious girls! We thank God for moms like Lisa who are raising their children to show such love and care for others — and we cherish little sisters like Mary Catherine and Ellie who have no doubt that they can make a difference in South Sudan and our greater world!

Read Lisa’s story in her own words below. We’re thinking that for the rest of this summer (at least!), you probably won’t drink lemonade or eat baked treats without remembering our little sisters’ beautiful offering. We love you, Archinal family!! ~ Elizabeth

As a minister’s kid, I grew up in the church where I often heard stories of missionaries traveling to far away lands helping the poor. I remember sitting in a Sunday School room looking at pictures of children my age who lived in Africa. Their clothes were worn, their faces dirty and their stories were the same – they had no clean water. As a child I was baffled by this. Why couldn’t the grown ups figure out a way to get water to these children?

Many years later, children in Africa, specifically South Sudan, are still without clean water. The difference is, now I am the grown up and I am responsible to do something to help. As a follower of Jesus, I cannot pretend to live in ignorance of those who are hurting, no matter how many miles away they may be. Jesus taught us to care for the sick and hurting…and he didn’t put geographical boundaries around it.

The question was where to start in my efforts to change the world. The answer was Sister Effect. Recently, two of my friends established an organization to make a difference in the lives of those living in South Sudan. They came up with the name Sister Effect, the idea being that women and girls will use whatever gifts they have (writing, baking, music, anything) to raise awareness and funds which will result in life-giving change for those in the Sudan.

As a mother of two daughters, I wanted my ‘sisters’ to learn early that they can make a difference in someone else’s life – even someone they have never met. So, I asked the girls what talents or abilities they have that they could use to help girls in South Sudan. The result was a bake sale/lemonade stand benefitting Sister Effect.

My own sister and I were holding a garage sale and decided it was the perfect opportunity to help the girls get started. The girls did all the work. Mary Catherine baked and baked. Ellie mixed lemonade. They made signs and set up their stand. For two days that sat in the sweltering Houston heat selling their wares.

The result? They raised a whole $20. I have to be honest and say that at first I was really disappointed in the small amount of money. But then I realized I was being short sighted. There is a much greater effect taking place. Yes, the money is important. But more important are the lessons it taught my girls.

They learned:

  • They have special abilities, given by God, that they can use to bless others.
  • There is great joy in doing something completely selfless.
  • Working together can bring greater results than working alone.
  • You don’t have to be a grown up to make a difference.

That’s a lot of lessons learned just from one little lemonade stand! I learned something too. You don’t have to have millions of dollars to change the world. You don’t have to move to Africa to help the people that live there. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is raise awareness in your own little circle of influence – in this case it was influencing my girls.

I have a feeling this won’t be their last business venture. They’ve caught the Sister Effect bug. It’s amazing what sister’s can do together.

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