Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

It’s time to give back

on November 4, 2012

We live in a very privileged society. In the United States, kids are blessed with the gift of education, safe building guidelines, clean water, and so much more. Now I know this isn’t the case for all families or kids, but the kids who are lacking in basic needs are the exception. There are many kids all over the world who are unable to find clean water, don’t have parents due to illness or war ravaged societies, and who die from every day illnesses or other cause that are easily preventable and treatable. The exception in countries like Zambia or Burma, the exception is a healthy child who gets and education and who has two parents living.

Helping kids in impoverished countries touches dear to my heart as I’ve traveled to both Africa and Honduras helping families in need. So I got to thinking, how can we inspire our congregations to give to those who have so little when we have so much. After talking to some families in my church, I quickly learned that people are just unaware of the needs of others or how they can truly help people and make a difference in someone’s life!

You might be thinking, I tithe to my church, isn’t that enough? If you feel that it is, that’s your prerogative  But, I feel that God has called us to more than that. Matthew 25:35 – 40 says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” We need to help the least of these!

First, here’s a great video that I saw 4-5 years ago that might hit home with you. I think once we’re aware of different situations in the world, we are obligated as Christians to do something about it, and to show our kids how to make a difference. See what you think about this: 

So, I have a challenge for you this holiday season. Spend less money on yourself and your family. Give more to people in need. Here’s some awesome ways to give back that I’ve been a part of (and there’s many more organizations).

Samaritan’s Purse: Samaritan’s Purse is a non-denominational evangelical Christian humanitarian organization that works worldwide to meet the spiritual and physical needs of people suffering from war, poverty, disaster, disease, famine, and persecution. At Christmas, they do Operation Christmas Child. We’re doing this with our kids at church this year. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to give. Go to the website for more information.

World Hope International: Faith based relief and development organization alleviating suffering and injustice through education, enterprise and community health. I’ve done Missions work through WHI. Every year, they have a “gifts catalog” where you can select gifts for people overseas in someone else’s name. View the catalog at  and see all the ways you can impact someone!

Compassion International: Compassion International is a Christian child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. My husband and I sponsor a child through CI, which you can commit to ($48 per month for kids who need HIV vaccines, $35 for kids who are not at risk) or you can make a one time donation to CI through their Christmas Gift Catalog. You can see all of the ways you can help others by going to the Compassion Gift Page for more information.

Advent Conspiracy: Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by substituting compassion for consumption. You can give water or rescue to people all over the world. Go to their Website for more information.

American Red Cross: You may want to give to disaster relief and because of Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross has taken up the responsibility of getting donations to help people who have been effected by the hurricane. You can also choose to give a recurring gift so there’s money available for future disasters. Go to the Red Cross Giving Page for information.

Aside from these monetary ways to give back during the holidays, you and your family can serve together locally (or if you feel God’s calling, overseas) as well.

Some ideas for serving:

  • serving at a soup kitchen
  • serving at your local church
  • handing out food to the homeless in your city
  • rake leaves or shovel for a shut-in or the elderly
  • visit a nursing home
  • visit an orphanage
  • if there’s a refugee area near you, go and spend time with the people

There are so many ways that we can give our time, money, and talents to those in need! Let’s think of others this Christmas Season. If you need help contacting different organizations or are still unsure of how to plug-in, contact your local church and they would love to help you! (I can help those in Western New York and Central Indiana, because that’s where I’ve lived and have been heavily involved!)

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