Big Things Come in Small Packages…

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I have been wrestling with this thought during this Christmas season: Why doesn’t Santa visit the poor anymore?

As many of us know, Saint Nicholas who “Santa” was modeled after, was a devout Christian man . Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the
poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships. He was even imprisoned a few times for his beliefs.

So what has happened to the spirit of our Patron Saint “Santa”? Does he now play favorites among the rich? Has the pendulum swung in the other direction?

What about the families in the nation of Haiti, or the slums of India, Sudan, & Nicaragua? Has he forgotten them?

Maybe he has. Maybe this “belief” in Santa is not as magical as appeared in our cozy, warm American beds. Maybe now we see more clearly that Santa doesn’t visit every child on Christmas Eve. There is no naughty or nice list. Instead, there are only the rich and the poor.

Every year at our mission base in Croix Des Bouquets, Haiti we do a very simple gift give-away. We collect shoeboxes filled with simple toys and general hygienic supplies. Even though the gifts are small in size and quantity, the children are overjoyed at what they receive. Furthermore it provides us with an amazing opportunity to share the love of Christ with each and every one of them. This year we will distribute more than 750 shoeboxes to children in the villages surrounding our mission base.

At Bethel Mission Outreach we believe that we are called to walk in the truth. In our day and time, Santa’s sack reaches only to the wealthy in this world, but Christ’s gift of life is extended to every child regardless of socio-economic status. The gift of redemption and salvation extends equally from the slums of Haiti to the multi-million dollar homes on the California coastline. It supersedes social status and racial barriers. It reaches to the heart of every person and over looks every personal flaw in order to say, “I love you. I accept you. Turn from the life you are living and come follow Me…”

And this is why we LOVE the gospel so much. Because God, unlike Santa, sent his Gift when we were “yet sinners” (Romans 5:8) to save the really really naughty kids. He did not elevate good works, as if they existed without Him, but chose to show his love by laying down His life for the poor, the needy, the wealthy and the wicked.

Please consider celebrating Christmas with us this year by giving the gift of free education to one of the children in our program. Every donation is used to directly benefit our education program which currently benefits over 300 kids.

May the Lord richly bless you with the gift of generosity on this Holiday Season.

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