This is a sponsored post.
- Do you want to do your part to fight human trafficking?
- Is the advance of the Gospel through practical means a passion for you?
- Would you like to provide practical help for refugees?
- Are you looking for a way to teach your children about Christmas GIVING rather than Christmas GETTING?
Let me share with you something I only learned about this year.
But first, let’s look at Matthew 25. Here, Jesus speaks one of the starkest messages connecting the way we give with the condition of our soul:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And 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.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
While as Christians, we do not believe that acts of giving contribute TO our salvation, Jesus makes it clear that our giving IS connected to the state of our soul.
Part of being a Christian is learning how joyful it is to GIVE.
So, as Christian parents, part of our job is to live this out before our children. Before this year, I’d never heard of the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Gift Catalog. Over the years, one of our greatest joys as a couple has been through opportunities to give financially to worthy causes. Maybe because it’s usually a time we have together (off work), or because it’s the end of the year, our habit has been to evaluate our charitable giving each year in the week between Christmas and New Years.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” ~Hebrews 13:16
But as our children have gotten older, we’ve increasingly looked for ways to bring them alongside us in Christian generosity, BEFORE Christmas, as a way of tuning their hearts toward giving (rather than merely receiving). Praying and giving toward a particular orphan in Ethiopia, for example, has proven beneficial for our children’s hearts and minds… we continually work to find tangible ways to give to the Kingdom of God that connect giving and joy for our children. So, for us, learning about this catalog came at exactly the right moment in our family’s life, and at exactly the right season as we contemplate ways of finishing out our personal giving for 2015.
As Westerners, even the most financially-strained among us are incredibly blessed, compared to most of the world’s population.
Looking through this catalog together with our children (you can do it online here) gave us the opportunity to explain to our kids various struggles faced around the world in practical, understandable ways. It was fun to hear our children talking about which projects excited them, and how they imagine the Gospel going forward because of simple gifts offered in the name of Jesus.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? ~1 John 3:17
What I love about this catalog is that, unlike other donation-gift-style catalogs I’ve seen, items in it are within reach for families, even (yes) during the busy (and EXPENSIVE, can I get an “amen?”) holiday season.
Here are some samples (with prices) of the 42 different gifts you’ll find in the Samaritan’s Purse Gift catalog:
$6 gives a blanket for families sleeping outside after a storm, earthquake, or other disaster.
Just $7 provides a whole week’s worth of meals for a child.
For $14, you can give a baby chick:
For $60, you can provide emergency housing for someone displaced due to a natural disaster.
$100 gives needed vocational training and education for those at risk for human trafficking.
$125 provides a refugee family with water, food, heaters, or other needed supplies.
Just $250 repairs a cleft lip. (That’s a very good price, compared to other cleft-lip-surgery charities we’ve seen in the past.)
And if you have the ability to do it, $35,000 will build a clinic or upgrade a surgical ward in a needy, impoverished community.
You can even choose the cost-share option if there’s a program you’re passionate about, but don’t have enough money to fund the full cost. Go take a look at your options— they’ve made charitable giving so EASY for us!
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ~2 Corinthians 9:7
Samaritan’s Purse is doing good work, practical work, GOSPEL work, worldwide, and your family can take part.
Here’s where you can check their financial credentials, for your confidence and peace of mind as you give:
My hope in writing about this is that you and your family would enjoy knowing about and giving to these specific ways of giving to the needy and advancing the Gospel through the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog.