Here in the United States, we don’t realize how fortunate – how amazingly blessed – we are. Even in our worst circumstances, we come nowhere near what many people – let alone children – face in their everyday lives in other parts of our world.
We enjoy giving gifts to each other at Christmas time to let people know how much we love them, but really – is there very much that we REALLY need?
This year, you could give a gift that would show your love in more than one way. Consider giving a gift to a ministry that works to protect, feed, educate, and care for orphans or very poor children. You can give that gift in honor of a person you would normally buy a gift for, but often can’t figure out what to give them. Let that person know how you spent the money to help someone who is helpless. I think they will LOVE knowing that you thought of it.
Now, you need some ideas! I happen to have a few for you. 🙂 I have been following a very special ministry called Sarah’s Covenant Homes which has foster home type care for orphans (often abandoned) in India. Sarah gets kids from the government that nobody wants. She takes the kids that have neurological and other pretty serious health issues. These kids have lived their lives with no one showing them love let alone taking care of their basic needs.
Sarah just received 39 new children from the government – which brings her total to 83! Go to her blog and check out the photos and information. Not only are they in need of monetary gifts, but they are also in need of warm clothing for children aged 24 mo. to 6 years. You can find information about this on the blog in the right hand column. This ministry is completely run by donations – they take no support from the government.
I have told you about Amazima Ministries – a ministry in Uganda which operates to sponsor poor children to get an education. It costs $300 a year to sponsor one child in school which also pays for them to have two hot meals every day and for their school supplies and appropriate clothing. Amazima also makes sure that these kids get medical care when needed. These kids live in extreme poverty and their parents cannot afford nutritious food, let alone provide them with an education which could break the cycle of poverty.
This ministry is run by a girl who is 20 years old! You can read a back story of how she got started and a rundown of what she has been up to in Uganda since she moved there just over two years ago. You will be amazed!
I think my favorite quote I have read recently was a statement made by Katie on her blog. She said:
“It is easy to look to God and ask, “Why is there so much poverty in the world? Why is there so much hurt, so much inequality and unfairness, so much destitution?” I bet He would ask us the same thing.”
You can read about Amazima at their website, click on “projects” to see what specific things you can donate for.
On their website, you can buy a family a chicken, donate for some land to plant a community garden, or various other specific things. You can also just donate generically for their expenses. A generic donation can be made by Paypal at the Amazima site – click on “how to help” to find that link.
What is it that we are celebrating on Christmas? God sent Jesus into the world to give us the greatest gift ever given. We give to others in remembrance of that gift. May I remind you of Jesus’ words when speaking of the final judgment in Matthew 25:
34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’