Christmas Mission 2

I like the bumper sticker that asks ‘Christmas: Is it YOUR Birthday?’ To me this implies that we say it is the birthday of Christ, but WE get all the gifts! Most people know it is not actually the birthday of Christ. But even as I celebrate the advent of the Christ child, I must remember he came here on a mission to save humans from their sin. So, it seems to me that it is a natural that this is a great time to give to a mission work.

One of the things I do not like about ‘us’ is that we admire our missionaries, but we support them poorly. When they are stateside they have to spend all their time making reports and begging for further support. Not a good testimony. With the electronic communications available today, reports should be easily made from one location. But there is still the money issue. And while we are busy making improvements to our church buildings to make them more comfortable to us while we worship in our home towns, missionaries are praying and sweating it out, wondering if the support is going to come through.

You probably already know some foreign missionary.  We must highly value the missionaries who relocate and give themselves to the work of the foreign culture. I’d like to point out two mission works I believe in and can encourage you to give some Christmas cash (and throughout the year).

Greg and Mary Swindle are moving their family to Zambia, Africa next month. I went to college with Greg and Mary. Greg and Mary come from families of men and women who have devoted their lives to Christian ministry. It isn’t any surprise to me that they and their two daughters are willing to make a three year commitment to the work in Mapepe, Zambia. Speaking of commitment, when Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year I was sure that they would cancel their plans to move to Africa. I was wrong. Their determination is strong! Mary has done very well in recovery and they (we) are thankful for her health. Once there they will work with the School of Preaching.  Students there learn drip irrigation and other agricultural skills in addition to gaining knowledge of ministry and the Bible.  The school is a major force for evangelism in central Africa. Greg and Mary and their daughters will need some consistent support to make it through the next three years, and re-entry as well. Their current needs include

  • Prayer for their house in Florence, AL to sell
  • Overcoming a shortfall of $1,000 per month in support
  • Prayer for this family as Greg leaves December 31 for Zambia; family to follow when house sells. You can send them support via paypal by visiting their website HERE.
  • You can see a short video about the work in Zambia featuring the Swindles on his Facebook page located HERE.

Katherine Gould has been featured on my blog before. Recently Katherine was put in the dilemma of reserving her apartment in Beijing, China for the next three months or being able to return home for a month during the holiday season to see family. I was impressed that Kat suggested that she would place apartment rent before her own needs to see her family. I pray that Katherine will continue to give her life to energetic service to the King – and that she would never have to send out a “S.O.S.” email again. What a shame on all of us that this young woman serving Christ would have to worry about a place to live while in another culture and country.  The night before she left for home (she did get some support for her trip home) she had 31 people in her apartment for a Thanksgiving feast. She recently had 33 ladies at her apartment for a women’s retreat. This woman is making an impact for the Kingdom! If you’re not already following Katherine on Facebook, you should. Your soul needs the joy, energy, and encouragement she offers to so many. You can follow her HERE. Katherine’s needs include:

  • Monthly support for rent and expenses
  • Travel expenses (can you donate air miles) since she has to leave the country every 60 days because of her visa. She often goes to the Philippines or Cambodia to work with missions on these trips
  • Prayer for her health, encouragement, and strength to do this great work!
  • Check out the video Kat prepared for her home church that features her work. It’s on her Facebook page.

To send support for Katherine, send your tax-deductible donation to:

Garden Ridge Church of Christ 102 N. Garden Ridge Lewisville, TX 75067 (Make sure her name is on your check).  Kat can also accept paypal donations at her email address, katherine.gould@gmail.com.

China Thanksgiving

 

More Christmas Mission posts to come!

John

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