Peace and Joy in our Lord Jesus Christ!
Right after Thanksgiving, we will be preparing for the most joyous event of the year – Christmas. Many of us will be busy thinking about gifts and gift giving. There will be shopping, cooking and baking, cleaning to do, and Christmas parties, concerts, and family reunions to go to. If we are not watchful, we will easily get caught in the many activities that will be presented to us that we will forget the most important reason why we celebrate Christmas: that of remembering and rejoicing in the coming of the Incarnate Son of God, born of a Virgin, to save us from our sins.
The MEANS volunteers will also be busy, in a different way, during the Christmas season. We will also be spending time with our families and friends. However, most of us will be busy during our MEANS workday on the 3rd week of December, a week before Christmas, at the MEANS office. Some of us will be processing gifts and donations for our ministry partners in the mission fields, writing newsletters, and maybe packing a Balikbayan Box or two from the stuff we’ve collected in the past months for some ministry partners in the Philippines.
Every year at our MEANS Christmas Party, the volunteers give donations to our mission projects for the incoming year. One hundred percent of the amount of your donation will go to missions in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. This Christmas time, would you set aside some amount to help us fulfill our commitment to our ministry partners in these areas? I am sure many recipients will be blessed and encouraged by the love and generosity of God which will be expressed through you. I have attached a list of our mission projects in my letter.
In closing, let me share with you a story that has touched all our hearts at MEANS. A school child in a remote elementary school in San Carlos, Negros Occidental in the Philippines, received a flip flop from us. The rubber slippers were distributed by the teachers of this school. One day, the principal of the school saw that the child was again barefooted. She asked him what happened to the flip flop that he just received. His response was that he and another sibling were alternating every other day in wearing the one pair that he received.
From God’s Word, the Holy Bible, let us remember the gift of God to us. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Much blessings to you and your family this Christmas season.
Lina Padilla – Means Board Chair and President