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Transforming children's lives

What to get Mama? What to get John? What to get Mike? What to get the kids? The list grows longer as the time to Christmas grows shorter. If you are like me, you are looking for just the right gifts. This is very familiar to so many who join the hustle and bustle of the season. Looking for just the right gift can be a challenge. We want them to be perfect!

You remember Scrooge and the impact his gift to Tiny Tim made. Not only did it have a major impact on the small sick boy, but the impact on Scrooge was life-changing.

Charles Dickens captures the spirit of the holiday season in “A Christmas Carol.”

Dickens illustrates how important it is to help people in need. Tiny Tim –– a child full of courage and hope, was a child dependent on others. The heart of Scrooge was transformed by the love for Tim, and his life was changed when he gave of himself.

Our family, like yours, spends time looking for just the right gifts –– gifts that will make a difference as we honor the birth of Christ. For some time, missions has become the center of our giving.

John and I ask for gifts to be given to sponsor children at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). My brother and his wife ask for gifts to be given to the Lottie Moon Offering in their honor. Our loving mother gives and asks for gifts to be given to both BCH and Lottie Moon.

For the past three years in addition to giving gifts to the children in our family, we present them with a special honor card stating that a child living in BCH’s Guatemalan Orphanage was sponsored in their name. Last year, I forgot to give the cards to the children. All four children surrounded me, asking me about the children in Guatemala. They wanted to know if they were helping a child. In just a short period of time, it has become a tradition. As I presented them with their cards, big smiles spread across their faces. It has become important to them that they are a part of helping others. Their lives had been touched through this act of giving. And in turn, this act gives hope to children.

As you look for just the right gift for a friend or relative, I offer some gift suggestions. Make a gift to BCH in honor of that special someone. Consider sponsoring a child or a cottage in honor or in memory of a loved one. This is also a great way to remember friends, business associates, customers, or co-workers. What better gift to give someone than to honor them with a gift that truly makes a difference for years to come. BCH will notify the honoree with a card and acknowledge receipt of the gift to you.

It is so easy for us to get caught up in the chaos of the season and forget to truly find and celebrate Christ in Christmas. But look closely at BCH and you will see Him in the arms of our houseparents who hold and feed precious little ones. Look closely and you will see Him in the sparkle of the eyes of a five year old as he lights up the cottage Christmas tree. Look closely and you will see Him in the glow surrounding Kait’s face as she describes this Christmas is different than all the others because now she knows the Christ in Christmas. Look closely and you will find Him in the midst of a family working to stay together as a Christian social worker walks with them through crisis. Look closely and you will see Him in the hearts of developmentally disabled residents living in our Sanford homes ringing the Salvation Army bells to help others. Look closely, you will find Him in the life of a young girl who has been battered and abused but holds tightly to the hand of a loving houseparent who offers hope by telling her she is a precious child of God.

Look closely and you will see Him in you. You reach out and give of yourself that others might know and experience Christ in Christmas. Just as Scrooge transformed Tiny Tim’s hopes and dreams into a reality, you do the same for many children like Tiny Tim through your prayerful support to Baptist Children’s Homes. Thank you!

From our Home to yours, may you experience a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas.

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