This has been a year of great sadness and tragedy—darkness has seemed to come at us from every direction, consuming our world as everywhere we turn, one hears the echoes of all that is wrong, all that is lost, all that is broken .
It is easy to get lost in this darkness, to be consumed by this overwhelming weight that bears down upon us.
Yet…in the midst of all of this, it is here again.
Breaking through the darkness, rekindling the light and reminding us of all that is beautiful and true in life.
It comes again.
Restoring us, refilling us, bringing us back to what truly matters.
Christmas is coming.
I don’t mean the Christmas that began to appear in stores in September this year…
I don’t mean the Christmas that is swirling around us even before we put out our pumpkins…
I mean the Christmas that represents the greatest gift given to man…the gift of unconditional love.
This year, once again, we will have a way to give gifts that continue to give, and pass forward God’s love.
Christmas in Africa is a way to give a gift of life to the poorest in the village of Papoli, Uganda, in honor of another. You can pick an item for another, and we will give you a card to send to them, so they will know that this Christmas, their gift from you is something that will change the life of another—so far away and yet so near.
If you give a goat, a sheep, a cow…the first born of that animal is given to another in need…
and so it all plays forward…
if you give food to a child, or education, or healthcare…you have changed their life forever.
There are a large variety of gifts, each unique and special.
Imagine what a change you have made in a life if you help with education…
imagine the difference you make in a life when you give the gift of clean water, or nutrition..
The recipients of the gifts are selected by the village elders, insuring that the poorest and most needy are helped. A ceremony is held, each item is shared…and those so far away know that somewhere, someone cares about them and their need.
It is hard for us to imagine a life of such poverty.
It is hard for us to imagine a life of such pain or loss.
It is hard for us to imagine the hunger, the sickness, the despair.
it is possible for us to try and change it.
And in so doing, God’s light again shines upon the world
In the hustle bustle of this, the most wonderful time of the year, please think of sharing your love with others across the sea, who are so far, and yet so near.
For we are all brothers on this our earth,
and we are all bound by God’s own unconditional love to us.