THE REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON
Luke1:26-38 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you![d]”
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.33 And he will reign over Israel[e] forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.[f]”
38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
WHO WE ARE World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
WHO WE SERVE Working in nearly 100 countries around the world, World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
Clothing for Children$30
A little background–a few years ago I needed to get a van with w/c accessibility which would cost a ton of money we didn’t have. I’m not comparing my need to that described above!!! Please read on and you’ll see the connection. I prayed and wrote letters to area car dealerships that advertised a community committment explaining the predicament, begging for a plain van. If no one could give us a van to convert, we’d have to spend soooo much to buy one. We’re all on disability, so that would be tough. This was right after the bottom fell out of our savings when the market crashed. Oh, and we have a son with autism whose doctor is 65 mi. from home.
Months went by and we did what we could to get around. I’d get to the car, hubs would put the wheelchair away, we took turns driving, spelling each other when necessary and needing a day or two each to recover before we could consider venturing out again. It took so much out of us, especially the 130 mi. round trips. One day out of the blue I was contacted by one of the dealerships I sent one of my “begging for a van” letters. That’s how I saved them in my computer, numbered. AnnaLynn, the GM had been away and the mail had piled up, no one else able to deal with this letter. But her father knew they ” had to do something with this letter”, so she told me when we talked. It turns out, unknown to me, it’s a Christian family business and they agreed they had to find a van in their inventory that met the qualifications to be converted. It had to be one of a very few models, less than 2 years old, 30,000 or fewer miles, in excellent condition. A lot to ask.
Most dealerships thought I had quite a nerve, or was just a few cards short of a deck. If not for my faith and prayer experience, I would say the same. Most people thought I was a brazen fool.
But AnnaLynn’s family are different. They believe part of their purpose on earth as children of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords first and foremost is to help their fellow man as much as possible. They pulled a Dodge GrandCaravan off their lot that met the Braun w/c conversion company’s requirements. The sticker price on this was $13,000.
They wouldn’t even let me pay taxes, they paid them. If I were a part of a registered charity, it would be a tax exempt gift, but as an individual, it wasn’t. Of course I still had to pay Braun’s conversion, costing around $20,000, but that’s so, so much less than I would have had to pay for a converted van that will last me for as long as this one will.
So how do you reply? How do you thank people for such a gift? Each November-December this has come to me and I’ve always come up with one answer, and it’s made AnnaLynn happy that we choose to honor their giving hearts in this way. World Vision has many programs they run to give to others, especially this time of year. I’ve read in other blogs of groups doing the Operation Shoebox in which shoeboxes are filled with assorted small items (World Vision provides a list of suggestions), wrapped, labeled as to gender and age of intended recipient and sent out. But there are things on a bigger scale you can do as an individual, even late in the season.
Send your loved one a beautiful card as a reminder of your gift — select the option during checkout.
We receive a catalog from which to choose a gift, but you can go online and access the WorldVision catalog of gifts. Each year they get corporate sponsors to multiply gifts. I can’t send $350+ to send coats, boots, etc. to children freezing in poverty. But I can send $35 and have it multiplied ELEVEN TIMES to provide clothes, boots, etc. to keep frostbite, hypothermia and even death from some children. This is but one of several matching funds opportunities and there are many, many opportunities to give that don’t involve matching funds. I’ve done this for many impossible to shop for people on my past lists and every one of them greatly appreciated the donation in honor of them. Would you check it out? Instead of giving in to the commercialism of this holiday, would you consider doing what Jesus came to do? Give to those in need.