AS PEOPLE PREPARE TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, MANY ARE FINDING JOY IN GIVING PRACTICAL GIFTS TO SHARE HOPE WITH FAMILIES IN ASIA.
Right now, people all around the world are preparing to celebrate Christmas. In the midst of the busy season, Gospel for Asia’s Christmas Gift Catalog offers those in the West an opportunity to add to their Christmas celebration by providing food, shelter, income and the hope of Jesus Christ to families in Asia.
“We can sometimes lose sight of Christ in the chaos of this Christmas season,” said Daniel Punnose, Vice President of GFA. “Taking part in GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog is one of the tangible activities, along with our regular celebrations, that helps us remember what this season is all about. We are given an amazing opportunity to actually be Christ’s hands and feet to people across the world who are desperate for hope.”
The catalog offers a variety of practical gifts to support families in Asia. Just $85 can provide a sewing machine, a long-lasting source of income; $11 can purchase a pair of rabbits, which give meat or offspring to sell; and $160 can help make it possible to construct an outdoor toilet for a family.
Ladli, a mother of six in Asia whose husband was alcohol-addicted, grew discouraged because of her family’s lack of peace or prosperity. After a local GFA-supported pastor saw her need, he invited Ladli to a Christmas gift distribution program, and she received a pair of rabbits.
“I am thankful to God for providing these rabbits,” she said. “I will rear these rabbits, and through this we can earn some livelihood.”
Just a few months after Ladli received the rabbits, the pair gave birth to six more rabbits. Ladli and her family praised God, who blessed them and set them on course toward their hope of starting a rabbit farm.
While the catalog has been part of improving daily life for more than 1.7 million people like Ladli, it has simultaneously allowed individuals, families and churches in the West to make a lasting investment in the lives of others as they celebrate Christ’s birth.
Chris Brewer, a GFA staff member who helped launch GFA’s first Christmas Gift Catalog, says that dual impact for families in Asia and families in the West is why being involved in the Christmas Gift Catalog is significant.
“Fathers and mothers now have the tools to feed their children and make a life for themselves. It gives them tools that have a long-lasting impact, not just a handout,” he said. “In addition, many people are excited to celebrate Christmas by giving these gifts. It gives them a way to fulfill their desire to have their lives make a difference.”
Giving gifts through the catalog can bring entire families together as they decide what items they would like to give, and many people make it a Christmas tradition.
Denise from Iowa, who donated blankets, a BioSand water filter, Bibles, a pair of chickens and a pair of rabbits this year, said giving gifts through the catalog is one of her favorite things to do during the Christmas season.
“I can hardly wait to get to heaven to hear the stories of how clean water saved lives or how a pair of chickens sustained a family or how a blanket kept someone warm for the winter,” she said. “Thank you for doing this. I know my ordering is just the first step in getting these precious items to the people who need them the most.”
To browse GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog, visit www.gfa.org/gift
To learn more about how people have found joy in giving life-changing Christmas gifts, visit http://www.patheos.com/blogs/gospelforasia/2017/10/income-generating-christmas-gifts-break-cycle-poverty-gospel-for-asia/
PHOTO CUTLINE: Through income-generating gifts from GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog, God has enabled thousands of people in Asia to feed, clothe and educate their children.
GFA (Gospel for Asia) and its world-wide affiliates have—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 82,000 children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 600,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.