It may be hard to believe, but the end of 2016 is drawing near! There’s something about this time of year that reminds us how simple acts of generosity and compassion can make a difference in someone’s life. Just as the arrival of a baby in that Bethlehem manger changed the world all those years ago, the celebration of his birth continues to inspire hope in us all. This Christmas, we ask you to join in a revolution of hope that begins with an act of generosity. Keep reading to find out how!
There is a story of a female farmer who received a microcredit loan to purchase a goat. The ability to buy this animal changed her life. She and her family had better nutrition from the milk it provided. The additional income meant she was able to send her children to school and afford health care. The simple gift of a goat had given her hope for a future she had never imagined. You might assume she must have received a large loan to accomplish all of this. But no – the loan she received equalled just over $100 Canadian dollars! It is an incredible reminder that with a small hand-up, enterprising men and women all over the world can significantly improve their lives.
Here’s a small list of things a $100 gift to CBM can do:
Feed a Syrian refugee family for one month – Many recent refugees in our country will experience their first Canadian Christmas this year. However, in Lebanon, millions of Syrian refugees are still struggling to survive. A monthly box of food supplies ensures families will receive the nutrients they need to work and study and rebuild their lives.
Support a church in the Global South for one month – Local churches all over the world act as salt and light in broken communities. They minister in unimaginable circumstances amidst conflict, disease, and poverty. Support from their Canadian brothers and sisters provides them with encouragement and the resources they need to effectively reach people with the Gospel.
Provide medication for an HIV-positive person – The AIDS pandemic has largely dropped from public consciousness in Canada, but it has not gone away. Last year, 45% of new HIV infections occurred in Eastern and Southern Africa. However, having HIV is no longer a death sentence. Access to medication means people can live long, healthy lives.
Sponsor a Chagas awareness workshop in a local community – One of the best ways to prevent and control and the spread of Chagas disease in Bolivia is through education. The poor are particularly vulnerable to this life-threatening disease because of the construction materials used in their homes. One workshop held in a local community can save the lives of hundreds of people.
This is just the beginning. There are so many other things your gifts do in the lives of others. Respond before December 31, 2016, and all donations (up to $20,000) will be matched by a very generous CBM donor!
This year, you can participate in the renewal of life in a broken world! In a world broken by extreme poverty, health pandemics such as HIV and AIDS, civil conflict and other global issues, you are there to respond with God’s love and compassion. Together with church partners around the world, CBM has the community presence, commitment and local expertise to transform the lives of people most impacted by the pressing issues of our time. That is why we have the Hopeful Gifts for Change gift catalogue.
Your purchase of gifts from the Hopeful Gifts for Change will give marginalized children and families what they need for fuller and healthier lives. The best way to honour your loved ones is to give someone in our world the gift of life. Find a gift you want to give someone from one of eight categories - Food, Animals, Education, Play, Health, Livelihoods, Leadership, and Ongoing Needs. Challenge yourself as a family, as a small group, or as a church, and together you can give gifts of hope this Christmas that make a significant difference.
Don’t forget – you can also order free Christmas cards with every gift purchase! On your order form or online, indicate how many cards you wish to receive. Online, it is listed as a ‘gift’ item. They will be mailed directly to you so you can write in their name and a personal message before giving it to them. Alternatively, if you give online, you also have the option of sending them a personalized e-card after you make your purchase.
Even better - you can use our gift catalogue any time in the year, even after Christmas. Many people use it to honour loved ones for anniversaries, birthdays, weddings or other special occasions! So don’t delay, and let’s celebrate the spirit of generosity this season to make a real difference in the lives of real people.
Meet a small group from Mississauga City Baptist Church, in Ontario. The CBM gift catalogue gave them an idea about how they could come together to make some kind of difference in the world. By giving the gift of a goat, they were able to participate in a tangible act of generosity as they journey in faith together. That’s where Purity, single mother of two, comes in. She was someone who actually received a gift of a dairy goat, along with seedlings and a small business loan due to CBM’s Guardians of Hope program, made possible through the generous gifts given here in Canada. While it had been a struggle for Purity to provide for her children and afford medication because she is HIV positive, with this special gift, she is able to earn extra income. The extra income enables her children to go to school now and afford health care for a long and healthy life. Watch the video (https://vimeo.com/183723734) to hear the full story from Mississauga City Baptist, and visit the link below for more ideas on how to explore group giving this season!