Thanksgiving has come and gone in Canada and the United States. Many of us enjoyed delicious turkey dinners with our families and reflected on all that we were thankful for. We were thankful that we have shelter, jobs, families and friends. Just recently many people got laid off from their jobs. Those of us who still have jobs are very thankful especially as the Christmas season is fast approaching.
As Christmas draws near, we think about the gifts we will get for our loved ones and friends and plan our menus. It’s a fun and a stressful time. We decorate our homes and set aside one evening just to wrap presents to put under the Christmas tree. We are thankful for the most wonderful time of the year. We are thankful for God’s greatest Gift to us–His beloved Son, Jesus.
Sadly, it’s during this time of the year when we are reminded that not everyone is as blessed as we are or has much to be thankful for. Imagine that it’s Christmas time but you are not in the holiday spirit because you are overworked and it’s a constant struggle every day to provide meals for your family. You’re working hard but have nothing to really show for it. You can’t give your children education or clothes. This is how life is for many people in South Asia. Each day is a struggle for them. They don’t live–they just exist.
Imagine how thankful you would be if you were to receive a simple gift that would help you and your family. Gospel for Asia offers lots of wonderful gifts in their Christmas Gift Catalog. Gifts like chickens, sewing machines, rickshaws and Bibles are not only a great source of income for people who are living in poverty but they are a means by which the love of Christ can be demonstrated in tangible ways. Since 2007, the gifts from GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog have helped over 736,000 impoverished families in South Asia.
I thought of which gift I would be thankful to receive and came up with two. The pull cart and a bicycle.
With a pull cart I can sell fruits, vegetables, clothing or handcrafted items so that I can provide for my family. This is a legitimate way for a poor person to make a living. I would be able to give my child an education and give faithfully to the church. I can even share the Good News about Jesus with people as they buy the goods I am selling. I don’t have to worry about renting a cart. Having my own cart saves me time and I can take home all of what I earn. Having my own cart will be a testimony to my neighbors and relatives that God takes care of those who put their faith and trust in Him.
I love to ride. In Guyana I used to ride a lot. It was a fun way to get around. Good exercise too. If I were living in South Asia, I would love to own a bicycle. If I received one as a Christmas gift, I would use it to reach more villages and tell them about Jesus. The Bible talks about how “beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15). Imagine how much faster I can share the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things if I had a bicycle!
This Christmas think of the many lives in South Asia that will be changed through the Christmas Gift Catalog. Think of how thankful you would be to receive one of these gifts. Take a look at the Catalog here and prayerfully consider each gift.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver – 2 Corinthians 9:7