Thinking of Christmas?
Thinking of Christmas?
Just moments ago we got a call from someone who is planning ahead. This year she’s decided to give gifts to needy people in third world countries, giving these gifts in honor of specific relatives here at home. In this way, those who really need gifts will get gifts, and they will be gifts that keep on giving, even into eternity.
What a GREAT IDEA! So she called us to ask if we could help her implement her idea. Absolutely! We are taking a team to Ethiopia in November, and there are many gifts we plan to take with us. Would you like to help us?
For starters, how about money for seeds? The Burji people are suffering severe drought; all their crops this year have failed. Not only is their crop gone for this year, but also they have no seed for next year. We will be doing a farming workshop in the villages, teaching them about how to improve their farms, and distributing seeds to those who attend. They must pass a “quiz” on the information we taught before receiving the seed, and of course, we will tell them about the Bread of Life when we teach them about their farms. We want to give seeds for Kale, Turnips and Field Peas.
Or how about food for war widows? The Guji tribe has made war against the Burji tribe repeatedly in the past couple years. Each war leaves new widows and orphans in its wake. To lose the head of the household is almost a death sentence for these peasant families. Add to that high inflation, with food prices tripling in just 18 months! The Guji churches are collecting an offering for the war widows, and we want to supplement that offering and give a substantial amount of food to each of the widows. The Guji church leaders will present this food publicly, as a demonstration of the way of Jesus, who taught us to love our “enemies” and to make restitution to those we have harmed.
Or how about food for rural church leaders and evangelists? These men walk long distances into town for a 4-day Bible Conference. Last year they brought their own food and slept on the floor of the church. But the conference ended early because they ran out of food, and they walked home on empty stomachs. This year, in a year of famine, we want to provide the food they need, so they will not be weak during the conference and they can focus on the spiritual benefit gained at the conference.
Or how about wash basins and soap for peasant families? In the villages, we will teach the women, children, and men about hand washing. Poor hygiene is probably the #1 contributor to illness in Africa. And simply washing hands goes a long way in preventing sickness. We can teach until we are blue in the face, but if they cannot afford a wash basin and soap the teaching accomplishes nothing. So we want to buy simple plastic wash basins and soap, distributing one per household. They must attend our teaching session and pass a “quiz” on hand washing before we give them a basin. And after we leave the village, the church leaders will visit the homes to check that the basins are being used correctly. We want to buy these basins in the Mercado (big market) in Addis, but we need to collect funds for them now.
So what is the cost for all these things? Based upon past experience, here’s what we estimate:
Are you tired of giving Christmas gifts that are quickly abandoned? Would you like to give a gift that lasts, a gift that really helps, a gift that may make the difference between life and death for some poor peasant? If so, we welcome your partnership with the Burji people, for the Gospel’s sake. Make checks payable to BeckyLynn Black & send to 2691 White House Rd., Nelson, VA 24580. As always, 100 percent of your gift will go to the Burji people. In the Name of Jesus, we thank you!
July 22, 2008