PRACTICAL GIFTS CHANGE THE LIVES OF MANY THROUGH GOSPEL FOR ASIA'S YEARLY CAMPAIGN
WILLS POINT, Texas — One hundred people whose mobility was restricted because of poverty and disability can now move about freely, thanks to a special gift of tricycles, which Gospel for Asia’s “Forgotten Christmas” campaign helps to fund.
The tricycles are hand-powered, which makes them especially useful and life-changing for people who don’t have the use of their legs. They were delivered to recipients during ceremonies in four locations in India earlier this year. The events were attended by community leaders, church officials and other guests.
Gospel for Asia expects to distribute thousands of gifts—ranging from pairs of animals to sewing machines to community wells—through its “Forgotten Christmas” drive this year.
“There are few things more precious in God’s eyes than to help those who are suffering physically,” said Gospel for Asia’s founder and director, Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “And that certainly includes people who can’t move about freely. These gifts restore that precious ability to people who’ve been suffering without hope, sometimes for years.”
Yohannan contrasted the sacrificial giving that prompted these gifts with the consumerism that so often characterizes the Christmas season. “It is our heart to give without hope of reward at Christmastime,” said Yohannan. “God sees all things, and He is our reward. This kind of giving is what ‘Forgotten Christmas’ is all about.”
Gospel for Asia began its “Forgotten Christmas” program in 2011 to remind churches and individuals of the true purpose of Christmas—to celebrate the birth of Christ in a spirit of generosity. “The gospel begins with God’s sacrificial gift of His Son,” Yohannan said. “And it is still His heart is for us to become like Him and follow His example of giving and caring for those in need.’”
The gift of 100 tricycles drew praise from local community leaders who recognized its helpful impact on India’s poor and disabled.
“Serving mankind is the greatest service in this world,” said Rajiv, the vice president of a district in east central India. “God has created each person for some specific purpose. All human beings are in the likeness of God. Some of them are good in health and wealth, but some of them are unfortunate in this world. But God sees each one of us in the same eyes, he never has partiality; rather, he wants those people who are good in health and wealth to love, care and help the people who are loveless, discouraged and helpless.”
The recipients also expressed their deep gratitude. “I never ever thought that I would buy a tricycle,” said Prabhu, one of the recipients. “But today, I received this very expensive and precious tricycle for free. It is so wonderful for me.”
Dulari, another recipient, said, “Many years I was only sitting at my home because of my physical condition. Often I was eager to go here and there, but it was so difficult for me. Today, I am so happy and thankful … Now, with it I can go where I wish.”
Yohannan hopes that the “Forgotten Christmas” campaign will inspire more churches and their members to make the season meaningful by giving to those who have real needs. And he encourages pastors to make note of the program so their congregations might join in.
“So much of what goes on at Christmastime will soon be forgotten,” Yohannan said. “But when we give in the name of Jesus to those who can’t give in return—that has eternal value.”
Those interested in “Forgotten Christmas” can find more information at gfa.org/info/FC.
The many ministries that Gospel for Asia supports are described at in its Christmas Gift Catalog, available at gfa.org/gift.
With tricycles given through Gospel for Asia’s “Forgotten Christmas” campaign, disabled people can now get around freely.
GOSPEL FOR ASIA (www.gfa.org) has – for more than 30 years – provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.