Saturday, December 15, 2007

The True Meaning of Christmas

We have just returned home from a truly magnificent experience with our church family at Sammamish Pres. The Mission Committee decided many months ago to partner with World Vision in providing Caregiver Kits for the caregivers of Aids/HIV patients in Tanzania. The goal of purchasing 500 kits was set...the presentation was made to the congregation....and we were off and running. It soon became obvious that the goal was set way too low. The culmination of the process was our "One Life One Night" tonight - in which over 400 people from the smallest to the oldest gathered in every nook and cranny of the church facilities to be organized into groups and begin to walk around each assembly table, writing a note of encouragement and hope to a caregiver to be placed inside each and every kit and then filling our bright orange plastic containers with all the necessary equipment--from cotton balls to gloves to medicines. We packed 1,762 caregiver kits which will touch 17,620 patients with a total of 352,400 caring visits. WOW! Isn't that incredible? And that's what Christmas is really all about, isn't it? For Christmas this year, we purchased a Caregiver Kit for everyone in our family - so our kids, my brother and sister-in-law, and our nieces and nephews were all represented in that endeavor. Our thanks and love to each of you! One of our 11-year old girls celebrated her birthday today - her young friends were invited to contribute to purchasing caregiver kits in lieu of birthday presents, and her party was coming to the gathering this evening and participating in the assembling of the kits. What a witness to all of us--young and old! And now we are only ten days away from the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus! May the next ten days bring peace and joy to your hearts, as you hear from friends via the mail, listen to the music of the season, and rejoice at the great gift God gave to each of us.
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