Burma (MNN) — How often do you give Christmas gifts that change lives?
Generally, a pretty packaged present under the tree has a short-lived impact. Usually it’s a gift that will get used until it breaks, or something that will quickly be forgotten once it loses its newness (and sometimes it’s just an unwanted pair of socks).
Partners Relief and Development has put a unique twist on the idea of giving Christmas gifts to those less fortunate than we. Their campaign, Love In Any Language, is an attempt to make life-long changes for refugees in Burma who are stuck in the rut of poverty and violence.
Steve Gumaer of Partners: “A gift is love in any language. The whole idea behind this campaign is to give people the opportunity to give alternative gifts that are meaningful and that make an impact both in the physical and material lives of refugees that we work with–and in their lives for the Kingdom of God.”
Among the gifts for purchase are ones that will address health, hunger, and education deficits. You could help pay for a health caregiver, or for teaching a family how to grow rice. You could even start a school that will help change the future of many children.
Your support can help the spread of the Gospel as well. “Everything that we do is our way of presenting the Gospel. What I mean by that is when we’re in these populations and we’re with suffering people, it’s very clear that we’re Christians,” Gumaer explains. “When we talk to people, our whole strategy is to prompt the question: ‘What is different about you guys?’ And when that question is asked, we come right out and explain to them that the difference is Jesus.”
Christmas is the time of year when most people go to be with their families. The holiday rush doesn’t stop at the family level, however. “December is a critical time for our team.” Often, charities use this time of year to raise provisions for much of the rest of the year. However, the Christmas season has its benefits for spiritual work as well. “It’s a time of the year where we have a tremendous opportunity to be the Word incarnate and to represent Jesus in a very special way in these ethnic states.”
So this year, consider giving up that one unnecessary thing you were going to buy for the family, and use the money for something with a greater eternal impact. Or, you can buy handmade gifts for your family. The proceeds go to the projects of Partners. To see a list of the possible gifts, click here.
Please be in prayer for Partners and other ministries as they use this time to raise funds that will help them continue their work year round. Pray that many families would be blessed this season in the name of Jesus.