This year I have the unique experience of shopping for that "special gift" for what has become my goal in my bookbinding business - supporting those who are facing persecution for their faith in Jesus.
Not that I'm making a special donation just because it's Christmas, but with my involvement with Christmas craft sales now over, and the deadline for shipping before Christmas (at a reasonable price) come and gone, I think I have what I will have for a little while.
It's time to do some shopping.
As with buying a gift for some people (others it's the opposite) there are so many things to choose from. I could just give the whole big lump sum to the "where it's needed most" category I like the idea of giving to special funds, or picking from a catalogue of options. It make me feel more connected that way.
Here are some things that caught my eye.
(Voice of the Martyrs) Christmas Blessing. Any Amount
Provides food, toiletries, medication, clothing and literature to believers in a specific restricted nation. It's a pretty all inclusive package. Not to be confused by the title, these packages get distributed throughout the year, not just at Christmas. This year the packages are being sent to Pakistan.
(Voice of the Martyrs) Families of Martyrs Fund. Any Amount
Provides assistance and encouragement to the families of those who have been imprisoned, killed, or exiled because of their faith. Christmas is one of those times of the year when we are especially surrounded by family members and get-togethers, it's hard when there are people missing, imagine how hard it is when you not only miss their presence, but those who are absent where also the providers for the home (husband/wife, parents of children). Many times, if a women or children are left behind, there is no one to provide for them.
Open Doors Gift Catalogue) Help a persecuted woman provide for her family for a month $31.00 or $372/year
Teaches tailoring, needlecraft or other skills to help impoverished woman earn an income in a Muslim country (where it's not so easy for woman to be able to set up business). Very Etsyish don't you think?
Open Doors Gift Catalogue) Supply a survival pack for a destitute believer $9.00
It's amazing what only $9.00 can provide for someone. Provides a relief pack of food, medicine and other basic necessities.
There are many more gifts, but these are just those few that caught my eye as I was "shopping" this time around.
Now what to choose?
The Christmas Blessing sounds really good, and maybe it's just me, but probably that fund will be receiving a bit of an influx at this time of year. Helping a persecuted woman is also something I'd really like to do, but as it's my first donation from my shop, my funds are still quite limited. This will have to be put on the list for next time.
So I've narrowed it down to the Families of Martyrs Fund, and the survival pack for a destitute believer.
Those funds are now sent off to do there work. I hope in the coming years that through my craft many more gifts will be send out.