A few months ago I had the idea to make Christmas families for baskets. I heard of other Christians in the community planning parties for children, and although we focus the majority of our ministry on children, I wanted to do something for the families. Every day I do home-visits. I go into Copey and visit with just about every mother there. Often it's just a hello as I walk through the slum, but sometimes the mothers will call me into their homes to explain a situation, ask me to pray, or to just hang out for awhile. I believe that a child is most impacted when his or her family is impacted- thus me wanting to do a Christmas celebration for the entire family!
There are 8 main families that I know and have developed a relationship with over the past 6 months. So Isaac and I went to San Jose to get 8 large bins, food, and toys for the kids. We put a bag of rice, a bag of beans, coffee and sugar, as well as a gift for each child in the family.
There were kites for the older boys, jewelry making kits for the older girls, cars, dolls, baby toys & animals. All of the Refuge staff went to help give the gifts, and it was really, really special.
One mom was so surprised, she just kept hugging and kissing all of us. Another mother wasn't home, and so we gave the basket her husband. He couldn't stop saying thank you, and told us the great impact we have had in his daughter's life. Some kids put their toys under the Christmas tree, while others ripped open the gift as soon as their mothers handed it to them!
For the moms that weren't home, the older siblings took the baskets and "guarded" them from the younger ones until the mothers came home. M, my closest friend in Copey, wasn't home when we passed out the gifts. She later sent me a text message saying how grateful she was for the surprise, and how special I was to her family. Those are moments that feel really good.
Inside each basket Isaac & wrote a note each family. "With this gift we wish you a Merry Christmas, and we pray that God would always provide for you needs. The best gift we can ever receive is friendship with God. I pray that you and your family find that gift this season. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!"
I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all who give financially, and made this special activity possible. Please continue to pray for these families that they wold come to know Jesus and receive the gift of friendship with him!