Friday, November 18, 2011

Give Hope - One Christmas Gift at a Time!

For many people in Canada, there is often a feeling of conflict between what Christmas should be about – sharing the joy of Jesus’ birth and the Christmas story, connecting with family and friends – and the reality of the season.

It is stressful and busy, and everything is further complicated by the need to find the time and money to shop for gifts that aren’t always needed or used. Last year, as a possible solution to this problem, ITCA created a Christmas catalogue filled with items designed to simplify gift-giving and support International Teams programs at the same time. The catalogue contained everything from ice cream for orphans and high school tuition for teenagers to vocational training for widows and bicycles for pastors.

Philip Sheldon, Canadian Team Leader for Impact Kenya (PACE), says that the catalogue allowed them to do something special for the large number of orphans attending PACE Academy. “The catalogue funds allowed us to buy special foods for the children in December. One of the most purchased items was the $5 gift of bread and milk at the Victory Nursery School in Maina. We were going to be short for January because of a drop in our regular donations, but these small gifts were enough to enable us to continue until our regular donors came back.”

One of ITCA’s regular supporters emailed to share how an article about the catalogue in the December issue of Momentum resonated with her. “I really loved your article. I’m at a point where I can honestly say that I hate Christmas. Last year, I hated it but still wasn’t able to say it out loud and this year I’m dreading it. I’m dreading the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the traffic, the noise, the people, the expectations, and the disappointments. It’s too much and I just want to close my eyes and make it all go away. Reading your article made me feel like maybe there’s hope... it inspired me to think of ways to simplify Christmas.”

Simplifying Christmas can be as easy as visiting our website at during the holiday season and choosing one or more of the many unique items in the catalogue, such as Bibles for pastors in Sudan, juice for a family-style dinner at Welcome Home, tuition for a former street kid in Rwanda, or baby chicks for widows in Kenya.

The 2011 Christmas catalogue – new and improved, with many options to give genuine hope in tangible ways – was launched in mid-November and we would love for you to join us in Giving Hope, one holiday gift at a time.

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