TOOWOOMBA, Queensland - As holiday shopping in North America is predicted to top $1 trillion this year, GFA World(www.gfaau.org) is urging Christians to make the season more Christ-centred by adding someone they don't know to their gift list.
GFA's "Forgotten Christmas" campaign (www.forgottenchristmas.ca) gives an opportunity to churches and individuals to provide practical gifts, including income-generating resources that can help lift a family out of poverty in Asia, where millions struggle to survive below the $1.90-a-day poverty line.
The centrepiece of the effort is a touching three-minute video drama which follows a young American boy as he provides desperately needed groceries for a struggling couple in his neighbourhood.
"Christmas is about so much more than just presents," viewers are told. "Let's bring Christmas back to what it's really meant to be about: giving hope to others. Why not go further than just next door? Make an impact around the world this Christmas."
They can do that through GFA World’s Christmas Gift Catalogue (www.gfaau.org/gift), which features almost 40 different giving opportunities.
For just $11—the price of three eggnog lattes—a pair of chickens can improve a family's financial situation by breeding more birds that can be sold, or through the sale of their eggs. Other poverty-breaking gifts include a lamb for $65, a sewing machine for $85, and teaching someone to read for $25.
"There is so much to enjoy in the Christmas season, but it is easy to lose sight of the real meaning, if we are not careful," said GFA founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. "Christmas is about Jesus coming into the world, showing us God's love in tangible form.
"Through a simple gift that can completely change their circumstances, we can demonstrate his love to those struggling in poverty. We can show them that they may have been forgotten by the world, but they have not been forgotten by God or his people."
GFA World hopes that in this 12th year of “Forgotten Christmas,” churches and individuals around the globe will join them in seeing families in Asia receive help to rise above the poverty line. Last year, GFA and its supporters helped more than 230,000 families receive income-generating presents.
One GFA supporter who provides help through the gift catalogue each year said: "What a wonderful way to invest treasure into some of the poorest of the poor—a way that gives them new opportunities for self-support and dignity and demonstrates God's love for them.”
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GFA World (www.gfaau.org)has – for nearly 40 years ? provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions in Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,000 wells drilled, over 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 200,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.