When God is with us, our hearts overflow with joy at the many gifts He gives us, especially his Son, Jesus Christ. In turn, we want to be God-like. We want to share with others just as God shares with us. Especially at Christmas, we give gifts to others in our lives to share that joy. Sometimes the Global Mission Team finds others who are answering the same call, and we celebrate our shared causes. Recent collaborators have been Compassion International (2016), Feed My Starving Children (2017), and Global Health Ministries (2018, 2019).
Our gifts to our Tanzanian partners and others through these partnerships impact people’s lives in many ways. Education is one of the greatest gifts we give; you will find secondary school scholarships, textbooks, and benches, cement, and paint for a new school library among our selections.
A special education-themed gift, new this year, is a book titled “Among the Maasai”. Julie and Mark Cutler spent a year as missionaries in Tanzania early in their marriage. Now you can read the book Julie has written to describe her experiences educating girls from the Maasai tribe, including the lessons that she learned from them. Profits from her book will be donated to a Tanzanian school for the education and empowerment of Maasai girls.
Health-based gifts include cancer medicine for the Jacobson Centre in Moshi, TZ, nursing scholarships, textbooks for the Arusha Lutheran Nursing School, and stethoscopes for nursing students. Newborn Kits, created in collaboration with Global Health Ministries, are used as an incentive for expectant mothers to participate in prenatal care and to deliver their babies at a health facility – safer for both mothers and babies! A new gift this year, soccer balls, encourage physical fitness and teamwork among Tanzanian children.
Some of our gifts have an economic impact on Tanzanian families. A dairy goat, bee boxes supporting honey production, and seedling avocado and papaya fruit trees all provide both foods for a family and products for them to sell to others.
Other trees, 100 at a time, will be planted together in orchards in the parish. They represent hope for a future with a healthy environment through reforestation. In Tanzania’s equatorial climate, trees enjoy a long growing season and mature quickly.
Nduli Parish, our companion congregation, is filled with people of great faith. They take pride in the simple structures that serve their preaching points and use our gifts of supplies to be good stewards of their places of worship. One of our most popular gifts, year after year, is a Swahili Bible to be placed in the hands of a faithful believer.
Stop and visit our sales table on Sunday mornings (December 1, 8, 15, and 22) to view our charming, unique ornaments. This year we are offering 16 different gifts, ranging in cost from $10 to $100. Click here to see our complete order form. Print it and bring your order to our table on Sunday morning. You can also pick up our form on Sunday mornings at our display, at the Welcome Center, or in the office. Global Mission Team members look forward to helping you select gifts for your giving season. Thank you for your support of Alternative Christmas Gifts.
Global Mission Prayer:
Oh God, we know that you are with us on our most joyful days and in our darkest moments. Thank you for sending Christ into this world to shine a radiant light into our lives. Let our Alternative Christmas Gifts brighten the lives of our Tanzanian companions, and let their joyful gratitude and generosity remind us how little else we need when we have you. Emmanuel! God is with us! Amen.
Global Mission Events:
- Alternative Christmas Gift Sales – Sunday mornings, December 1, 8, 15, and 22, in the narthex at CtK