I don’t mean to stress you out… but Christmas is just around the corner!
Christmas is a strategic time of ministry here, as many, many refugees are asking questions about the holiday: Why do you celebrate Christmas? Who is Jesus? How can you believe that God would become a man, even a baby? Why would God do this? In the past, we’ve seen God use the Christmas season to draw refugees to Himself! And I’m looking forward to Christmas this year with great anticipation!
However, to get right to it: we need your help! As you might have heard, life in Greece is FULL of uncertainty – political, economic, and more. The generosity of our international partners (churches, small groups, individuals) will be key this year! Please considering supporting this year’s Christmas outreaches (see below for information on how to support). Here’s a note from our Greek director:
Dear partners in God’s wonderful ministry among the refugees in Athens,
On that night when Jesus was born, a great company of the heavenly host appeared, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rest.” Peace is what the whole world needs! Peace is what the refugees need too! Every Christmas season, with your prayers and financial support, we reach out to refugees with special programs talking about the source of real peace – Jesus Christ our Lord. And we have seen God, again and again, saving people and giving the true peace they were after. Like “G” – an Afghan – who fled his homeland long ago. It was in India, nearly nine years ago, that “G” first heart the gospel. Now in Athens, “G” decided to follow Jesus. This is no small decision. “G” is risking his family, his friends, even his own safety to follow Jesus. What can compel such a risk? Love. Through Jesus, “G” understood the love of God – a love that is worth everything.
For men and women like “G” who are thirsty for the truth of life, the cost and labor it takes to organize the Christmas parties is a worthy investment as hundreds of refugees are given the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ, the source of salvation and of true peace.
Although the economic situation is very difficult everywhere – including Greece – by faith and in partnership with several local churches, we are planning to organize 5 Christmas dinner parties with 120 guests each night for a total of 600 guests. We believe that God will provide!
Each Christmas Dinner will include:
- A specially prepared Christmas meal
- A Christmas gospel message
- Small and practical presents for adults
- And gifts for the children too
The cost of these Christmas outreaches is about €40 ($60) per person.
In addition, we want to provide refugees with sleeping bags, which are desperately needed in winter. Your gift will help provide these sleeping bags.
Would you stand with us? We need you and are asking you to pray that the Lord will provide, protect, and save refugees this Christmas season.
We are leaving you to Him who is able to keep you from falling and praying that the grace and peace of God our father and of our Lord Jesus Christ fill you daily.
With love and thankfulness to God for each of you,
Would you pray for these Christmas outreaches? Pray for safety, pray for fun, but more than anything, pray for the transforming power of God to be at work! Pray that this would be a defining season in the lives of many refugees. Pray that they could say, “Christmas of 2011, God changed my heart; this is the time that I chose to follow Jesus!”
Would you give generously to help us cover the costs of these outreaches? If you have a US credit card or banking account, you can give online HERE. Designate your gift for “Helping Hands – Christmas Outreach.”
Otherwise, please send a check to one of the addresses below, with a note designating your gift to “Helping Hands – Christmas Outreach.”
International Teams – USA; 411 W. River Rd.; Elgin, IL 60123, USA
International Teams – UK; PO Box 11; Brecon, Powys, Wales, LD3 9WJ, UK
International Teams – Australia; PO Box 1123; Baulkham Hills, NSW 1755, Australia
International Teams – Canada; 1 Union Street; Elmira, Ontario N3B 3J9, Canada