Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Giving 2015

My favourite time of the year, business wise. Spending time!

Yes, this is my favourite thing to do with my business, and yet, it is also bitter sweet. It is incredibly rewarding to see my efforts of the year be fulfilled, and unlike with my household, I don't have a budget I need to be vigilant of – spend it all baby! And yet, there there is such a great need.

As the first waves of Syrian refugees make their way into our country, I once again look at the different support packages for refugees and displaced believers online. Earlier in the year I was able to make a donation to directly help refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq because of ISIS. As we have seen and learned as the year continued, the situation has not gotten better.

It seems like there is more need than ever. Although I am excited to be donating more than I ever had before, the few thousand dollars I have raised still seems like a drop it the bucket. The more I read the more I become aware of the immensity of the situation. And the crisis in Syria is but one of many situations around the world.

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I will continue my “tradition” (probably the only Christmas tradition I regularly keep) with a donation to Voice of the Martyrs'Christmas Blessing”. Each year Voice of the Martyrs picks a different country to send this special blessing to. This year Iraqi and Syrian children of Jordan's refugee camps will receive these packages of not only some practical necessities, but also a picture Bible and a toy.

Another fund I find myself drawn to each year is Voice of the Martyrs'Family of Martyr's Fund”, designated to the families who have had one or both parents incarcerated or killed because of their faith.

A fund that I will be donating to the first time this year will also be Voice of the Martyrs'Relief and Development Fund”. Just as the name suggests, the fund helps provide aid and assistance as well as training and support to Christians in restricted nations both during and after persecution.

Switching gears, these next gifts will be from Open Doors 2015/16 Gift Catalogue

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Gift#10(b) allows me to support a refugee family from Syria or Iraq by providing food and medicine. I'm excited that I am able to sponsor a family for the whole year!

Gift#11(c) provides the livestock for a working farm so that a displaced family is given the change to support themselves once again.

Recently we heard on the news about a Canadian pastor sentenced in North Korea. We hear about this because he is a Canadian and people are fighting for him here. Unfortunately these sort of things happen all the time. Gift#14 provides legal aid for pastors and leaders who are being falsely accused.

I hope this post has not brought you down, but rather, an encouragement, or even, as a reminder. I am very glad to be living in Canada, and for the kindness and welcome hearts of fellow Canadians as the plight of displaced Syrians reaches our own county. It is no longer “something over there” but rather many have opened their hearts and wallets to help even some of these refugees find a home, even if it is far away from the one they loved.

Let this be an encouragement that even though our efforts seems small, and the problem so large, someone is truly blessed by our efforts, and to them it is a big deal. Whether this be donating to whichever charity you choose to give to, as there are many, sponsoring a refugee family, or helping a neighbour, it may mean the world to that person. This is what I choose to focus on.

As it says in Matthew 25:37 -41 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

I hope that not only your holidays, but that your whole year will be bright!

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