by MARILYN TINNIN, JASON HESTER, CHRISTY SOLOVECHIK, NANCY FLOWERS and MARLA BAKER
Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is peace. O Holy Night! – Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
What are you giving for Christmas this year? In the middle of the rush—and the pressure of again locating that unique something for the person who already has more stuff than he wants, needs, or has room to store—why not consider giving a gift in honor of that person? And to give to someone who has absolutely no means of giving to you in return?
We offer a few of our favorite suggestions! In a tough economy, when the family purse is tight, imagine the squeeze on those organizations that rely on the generosity of others to meet overwhelming needs. John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Giving is a tangible witness of that most precious kind of selfless love and a testimony of its power and purpose in the lives of believers. And, yes, all of our suggestions are tax deductible.
CLEAN WATER FOR MALAWI
Malawi, a land-locked country in Southeastern Africa and sandwiched between Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania, is home to 15.8 million people—85% of whom are Christians. There are three metropolitan cities in Malawi, but 85% of the citizens live in rural areas, and 52% of them survive on less than $1 each day. Life expectancy is only 50 years and the infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the world.
A major contributor to the dismal statistics is the lack of access to safe drinking water. Largely agricultural and rural, the landscape is populated here and there with small villages of a few hundred people where livestock roam freely and everyone—animals and people alike—shares the same water source. Hygiene is poor. In Malawian households, the average woman spends 26% of her time collecting water for her family— walking as far as three or four miles to draw water that is frequently contaminated. Over 30,000 people lose their lives every year to waterrelated illnesses, and most of these lives are children.
Clean Water for Malawi is an organization headquartered right here in Jackson. Since its beginning in 2011, the ministry has been able to drill 56 wells in the country. Each well will provide clean water for approximately 347 people. $3,500 will drill an entire well, but $70 will provide water to one family, $350 will provide water to five families, and $1,750 will sponsor half of one well that supplies water to an entire community.
Visit www.cleanwaterformalawi.org or contact 601.208.0936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restoration Hope is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Jackson, MississippiWe resource local-based work in South Africa that honors the Father, encourages the saints, strengthens the weak, and restores the hope of the fatherless.
An estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa in 2009–more than in any other country worldwide—and the province of KwaZulu-Natal has the highest infection rate in the country. The impact of the AIDS pandemic on children is appalling. Because children born in South Africa are extremely likely to have a parent infected with the virus, the chances of them being orphaned due to AIDS is astronomical. In fact, it is estimated that worldwide, more than 16 million children have been orphaned because of AIDS. The latest estimates show that South Africa is home to over 1,900,000 AIDS orphans.
Restoration Hope works in an impoverished community in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, called Sweetwaters, which lies at the epicenter of the destructive HIV/ AIDS pandemic. It is estimated that as much as 50% of the population has HIV or AIDS. Poverty is rampant and the area is characterized by poor housing, a limited supply of essential services, and high levels of unemployment. Traditional family and community structures are disintegrating as families are forced to restructure. There is an escalation in the number of children made vulnerable and orphaned. In Sweetwaters alone, there are an estimated 6,000 children living in child-headed households. People in the community face HIV-related stigma, social ostracism, lack of social support, poor education or no education at all, and family, economic, and social difficulties.
You can get involved with Restoration Hope by supporting us financially, joining us on a short-term trip to serve in South Africa, serving on a committee for an event, or by allowing us to speak to your organization. If you have a heart to get involved with the amazing work that is taking place in South Africa, please contact me at email@example.com.
To find out more about Restoration Hope, the work we support, and our local partners in South Africa please visit us at www.restorationhope.org or like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/restorationhope.
THE MILES CORPORATION
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem in the United States. Each year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. Recent data shows that, on average, approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually.
When Brad Jones almost lost his life in a car accident in 2002, he was left with a new “normal” because of his TBI. There was really no longterm care facility available in Mississippi. The cost of care for a TBI patient is astronomical, and there is no one-size-fits-all rehabilitation fix. Brad’s mother, Mary Bates, became a determined champion and warrior for proper treatment and rehabilitation for victims of TBI. Her son defied the prognosis the doctors had given him. He even completed an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Holmes Community College.
Founded in 2007, the Miles Corporation is a 501(c)(3) organization that includes a transitional home, a transportation service, and a degree of rehabilitative training for TBI victims. To date, Mary has cared for more than 31 people whose lives were pulled out from under them because of a TBI. Miles’ New Freedom Transportation Service has been made possible through a federal grant and the MS Department of Transportation. She says, “If one of our community wants to go to a movie, see a friend, go to a restaurant, or to a store for shopping, New Freedom is there.” Simple excursions like these are impossible for those with the disabilities that Mary cares for every day.
The primary fundraiser for Miles is selling their homemade peanut brittle. It can be purchased on their website, but they are always looking for retail outlets to help provide more exposure. Miles has operated on a shoestring since its inception, but, by God’s grace and Mary Bates’ perseverance, many have felt that they got their lives and a great degree of independence back. There is hardly anything Miles wouldn’t appreciate–any donation is huge to Mary. She has a great ability to stretch a dollar.
Volunteers are always needed to help make the peanut brittle, to drive residents, to help with bookkeeping, or perform handyman-type jobs around the residence.
See http://www.milescorp.org or contact Mary at 601.826.1859.
FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES
The mission of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships, and in the fellowship of the church. We have been so blessed to have the opportunity to be on junior high, high school, and college campuses all across Mississippi sharing the Gospel through on-campus Huddle Meetings and other events.
Mississippi FCA has grown tremendously over the past few years. We currently have over 30 staff serving as missionaries on more than 350 campuses throughout the state. Their tireless efforts have led many coaches, athletes, and students to make life-changing decisions to follow Christ and then use their influence to lead others to Christ. Locally, we have three staff in the Metro Area serving on the campuses of the schools in this area. They are Lester Walls, Kiel Higginbotham, and Swayze Waters.
One of our most impactful projects has been the Mississippi FCA Bible Project. In 2006, the Mississippi FCA State Executive Board was inspired to raise money to place an FCA Coach’s Bible in the hands of every coach in Mississippi. We were able to raise the money quickly and gave out over 6,000 Bibles that first year. Then, FCA produced the FCA Competitor’s Bible and the idea was promoted to have booster clubs or local churches raise money to provide each athlete on their campus with a Bible. Athletes from South Panola High School, who attended our 2011 summer Leadership Camp and heard this idea, were inspired to go back home and impact their campus by making sure EVERY student on campus received a Bible. They gave out over 2,000 Bibles and have created a plan that will allow future FCA Leaders to give out Bibles to the students of South Panola. Other students and coaches are catching this vision and working to make this happen on their campuses.
Since 2009, we have given out nearly 13,000 FCA Competitor’s Bibles and 8,000 Coach’s Bibles. We continue to see God’s hand at work through this project and other events and activities provided through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
For more information, contact us at 601- 856-3224, or visit us online at www.fcams.org.
WE WILL GO MINISTRIES: LOVING JESUS AND LOVING PEOPLE
The love of Jesus changes people. It does. Since 2005, We Will Go (WWG) has been loving people in downtown Jackson, and we’re seeing lives made new, addictions broken, families reunited, and hope restored. Jesus has grown WWG from one family and one house to 30 missionaries, 12 houses, a clothing shop, and a community garden. Base 1, at the corner of North Congress and Barksdale Streets, includes four houses, our food and clothing ministries, and a worship pavilion. Base 2 is in the historic Farish Street District, with eight houses and a community garden.
Every day Jesus brings hungry hearts to our doors so we can share His love and truth as, we also share the food and clothing He provides. He also sends hundreds of visitors and volunteers every month who come to help us pack food bags, hang up clothes, and restore our formerly condemned houses. People come to help, but are surprised to find that, in serving Jesus, His love has healed and restored them.
WWG also has a base in Tacna, Peru, where missionaries care for abused and abandoned children, and children belonging to inmates of the nearby women’s prison. WWG Peru has one missionary family, two houses, three interns, and three Peruvian “moms” who share Jesus’ love with seven children.
If Jesus leads you to share, here are some things we always need:
• Food – pop-top canned items, such as pastas, meats, vegetables, fruits, meaty soups
• Clothing – gently worn casual clothes, especially for men; new socks and underwear for men and women; toiletries, such as shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant
• Financial Gifts – used to supply daily needs for the poor, building materials for restoring houses, garden supplies, Bibles, traveling expenses mission trip to carry the Gospel to places like Peru, Africa, the Middle East, and China. All financial gifts to WWG are tax deductible.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).
For more information, visit www.wewillgo.org and www.wewillgoperu.org.
BE A SANTA TO A SENIOR
The power of a single gift can be life changing. The gift of Christ to this world is the most extraordinary gift that God gave us on earth. And so we take God’s example and celebrate the spirit of Christ through giving—one gift at a time. “Be a Santa to a Senior” was based on this premise. We know there are many wonderful projects and options of giving to children, but this community outreach was born out of the realization that seniors are needy and overlooked at this time of year. The project is much like the Angel Tree program, but instead of the angel ornaments representing children, the ornaments represent senior adults. The names of the seniors are qualified then submitted by the CMPDD Medicaid waiver program.
Locally, the project began in 2004 with only 100 names on one tree at Wal-Mart in Clinton. This year, we are helping 1,000 seniors in the metro- Jackson area. Multiple trees have been up since the second week in November at many Kroger and Wal-Mart stores. Nationally, the project has given over 1.5 million gifts to seniors since it began in 2004, and was featured on NBC Nightly News in 2011.
Here’s how to help:
1. Find the nearest Be A Santa to a Senior tree location by visiting http://www.beasantatoasenior.com or by texting “Santa” to 601-574-4155.
2. Receive an ornament from the tree
3. Purchase the gift
4. Bring ornament and gift back to participating store or location by December 10
Franchise owner, Darron Byrd, extends an invite to our annual wrapping party at 807 Monroe Street Clinton, MS, on December 14, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Holiday refreshments will be provided while we wrap gifts collected for seniors.