We are fast approaching the holiday season and with that, for some reason, the Christmas shopping season. This Friday is the dreaded Black Friday, named so because this is the day that retailers go from being in the red to being in the black.
Once again I want to challenge you not to fall into the commercialism of the season. One rebellious group, The Adbusters, are campaigning for us to join Buy Nothing Day where you can pledge to not shop from sunrise to sunset on November 26th. I think this is an interesting proposition, since we Americans have more waste that any other country. So, in addition to not shopping on Black Friday I want you to consider some other ways you can make changes this holiday season.
Did you know that 1.8 million people in under resourced countries die every year from dirty drinking water. The Advent Conspiracy who tells us to worship fully, spend less, give more and love all, is asking for support for Living Water International . There is a wonderful video where Chris Seay explains, from the streets of Haiti, how you can spend your Christmas money to save lives.
Samaritan's Purse offers aid to the worlds poor and sick. They have emergency relief programs that provide assistance to victims of war, famine, disease, and natural disaster. At Christmas time you can pack a shoe box and have it sent to a needy child through their Operation Christmas Child program. Their vision is through the story of the good Samaritan.
Fred Curry, of Rice and Beans Ministry, in Costa Rica is asking for support in reaching out to the poor people in the coastal, central and south pacific. Just ten dollars will feed a family for 4 days.
Of course there are children right here in the US that go to bed hungry every day. Many of these kids rely on the school lunch program to receive nutritious meals. On weekends and holidays there the program, Feeding America, that offers additional food through their Backpack Program. They fill children's backpacks with nonperishable and easily consumed food the day before the weekend or holiday. Our church is partnered with a local school and we provide these backpacks,. We are always in need of more backpacks and money to purchase food due to the increasing numbers of qualified applicants.
So, instead of giving into the commercialism of the season, I am begging you, please consider participating in one of these programs or look into another programs in you region where you can give the most precious gift.