Christmas in our culture has become so commercialized. In a season that should be only about the beauty of the birth of our Savior, there is so much focus on what we “need.” The gift cards, the exciting new gadgets…there are even commercials with vehicles tied up with big red bows! World Orphans offers another way to celebrate... God says this in Jeremiah 5:26-31: ‘“Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people. Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?” declares the Lord. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?’’’
As verse 31 states, it seems we have come to “love it this way.” Our country has become “rich and powerful” (debt filled too, but that’s another story) and we have grown “fat and sleek.”
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Instead of “getting” or even “giving” to those who don’t really need, we can play a role in seeking justice. There are many organizations that provide opportunities for us to help this time of year. All are worthy of your consideration.
World Orphans provides an opportunity to host an event - a Christmas party – a party that gets friends and families together. These parties (we call them “Home for the Holidays”) provide you the opportunity to share how World Orphans is making a difference through the church. The churches we partner with are not only caring for orphan and vulnerable children, they are caring for communities that are in desperate need of hope. The hope that God provided through the birth of Jesus!
One of our friends, Jill Spanding, has hosted two “Home for the Holidays” parties in the past couple of years, and this year is planning on attending one in Gaylord, MI. We asked her a few questions about these experiences:
Why did you host a Home for the Holidays party? I wanted to throw a Christmas party anyway. I decided it would be best to do it for a cause that would help others. The timing was affirming as well. Literally a day after I decided I wanted to do this for a cause, I received something from World Orphans about the Home for the Holiday’s parties.
Why will you do it again? Because it was so much fun to hang out with all our friends. But, it was more than that…it helped educate our friends about orphan care and God’s heart for the least of these. Those that came were genuinely excited to get involved. We would do it again because it was so much fun and because there was a fantastic purpose behind it. Not only that, but people who came the first year, came back the second year, and I am confident they are looking forward to it again.
What was the response of those who came? Everybody LOVED it. They had fun, appreciated the cause during a season that is so self-indulging, and ultimately were compelled to get involved. No one felt pressured. It was personal because these were friends and family. It didn’t feel like a fundraiser. Rather it felt like a nice night out with a fantastic group of people, great food and conversation with a purpose.
What would you share with someone considering hosting a Home for the Holidays party? Do it! It is worth it. It is easy to do with no pressure. It is such a laid back approach to building awareness and asking others to consider getting involved. People LOVE to go to parties. This was not just a party though, it helped communicate a story of not only God’s rescue plan for us through the birth of His son, but our rescue opportunity through serving and giving to others.
What did you learn from the overall experience? We learned more about the model of World Orphans and how churches all over the world are caring for their communities. I learned how having fun while doing a fundraiser is truly not difficult. We raised over $3,000 in one evening. It was great hearing other people’s heartbeat for orphans come out during our evening together. A lot of people from our fundraiser are now going on a World Orphans trip next year because of our church’s involvement!
Will you prayerfully consider hosting a “Home for the Holidays” party this year? We make it easy for you. We provide the invitations, the to-do list, talking points, thank-you cards, etc. You simply need to provide the home…and the friends.
Whether you do this with a group of adults, or maybe you use it as a teachable experience with your kids and their friends/parents, we trust this will be one of the highlights of your holiday season in 2012! Party on!