Merry Christmas opportunities
The hours of Advent are pushing into Christmas. Are you all done with Christmas shopping? I struggle with it and am thankful for a spouse that makes gift-giving alive and personal for family members and friends.
I continue to come across individuals who I admire who give gifts in honor of someone through the Heifer Project or other kinds of giving. An example of this was a few years ago a goat was given in my name (I was thankful that it was a young goat and not an "old goat"). All kinds of animals can be given to a household/community in need of the critters and it can be a wonderful gift that continues to be of assistance. Usually the smaller the animal the less expensive it is so a wide range of gifts can be given. Many African villages and households have benefited from this.
I was impressed with an individual who decided that small package meals could be put together starting with the thought, "I could do that," and several years later hundreds of thousands of individual meals have been paid for and packaged by folk all over southwestern Minnesota. Watch for opportunities to give in this way for a meaningful experience.
Another opportunity that you may be aware of is the "Malaria Project." It is the prevention of Malaria by purchasing and sending nets that allow people to sleep under these nets for safety from the illness.
All three these examples are simple ideas that someone or a group of someones has stepped forward and decided to give a gift in a new way. It is a great time of year to be creative in gift-giving and to encourage others to give in new ways. I have been an interim pastor in Marshall since February, so I am a relative newcomer to the community. I am impressed with how the churches and the community have many ways of giving gifts to others. It is obviously something that is done year round here in a wide variety of ways. Thanks to all for this giving spirit that shows forth here in Lyon County. Encourage others to grow in giving and imagine what that might look like when Christmas of 2012 rolls around. Best to you for the new year, Pastor Dave