"The food was so delicious."
"I can't believe how beautiful everything is and that people waited on me."
"I don't feel like I deserve something so nice."
These words pierced me as I heard them from the men and women attending the Lifeline Christmas Luncheons last December. A sacred moment reminder that I was on Holy Ground, that Jesus was in the room and was pleased with how we cared for men and women that may feel forgotten and discarded by society. It was humbling to hear these words, and it reminded me how grateful I am for the Grace that Jesus has extended to me.
There are few things more exciting than watching children at Christmas.
For 23 years we have been serving children at Christmas through our Neighbors In Action Christmas party. A beautiful dinner, Christmas program, games, shopping the Christmas store (where children get to shop and wrap gifts for their parents), cookie decorating, pictures with Santa and a special Christmas gift chosen just for them. This is an opportunity to remember that it is Jesus birthday and to make sure every child knows how special they are and how much Jesus loves them.
Around the world this year, we will remind children for whom life is difficult, that Jesus loves them and that they are special
We provided food, games, crafts, and a Christmas present to children who, otherwise may go without in Peru, Pakistan, Nepal, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Mexico. In Peru alone, we are sponsoring parties for 2000 children living in the shanty neighborhoods of Lima.
Our friends in Cuba are a living example of what it means to be the church. Just outside Havana, our sister church hits the streets and takes the Gospel to the community. What started as a small congregation of 40 has turned into an opportunity to serve 500 people each week. “In some ways, it’s the only hope they have, and they know that and realize that and live it out,” said Rev. Andy Nixon. The work in the field is the most important, and the intensity of their faith is contagious. The community is their family, and every member seriously considers the call to be the body of Christ. We have partnered with this congregation since 2003. Please continue to pray for their resilience and strength as they share the Good News and reach out to their neighbors.
Pakistan is an example of a partnership with local people on the ground. We support local pastors living under oppressive conditions and provide resources and training. These pastors, taking great risks, then share the training with other leaders who don’t have access to formal Christian training. Four to five thousand people have been trained, and more are so hungry and eagerly awaiting training. Stories of success include converting three Balmiks (Hindus) to Christianity. “We overcome all the difficulties and hurdles by your prayers, love, encouragement and by God’s grace.”