Christmas in July?

 

When Spiros Zodhiates asked people to help provide new shoes at Christmas for orphans under AMG's care in war-torn Greece in the late 1940s, he never imagined what God would do with those simple gifts across seven decades and five continents.

Those first Christmas gifts became an annual tradition and later grew into AMG International's Bundles of Love ministry. Today, every sponsored child, national worker, and leprosy patient directly supported through AMG receives a special above-and-beyond gift each Christmas. These Bundles include items most needed by the individuals receiving them, whether school supplies, clothing, blankets, books, or toys. We also provide copies of God's Word to those who do not have one.

The distribution celebrations when our national staff hand out Bundles of Love are joyful times of remembering the Gospel story that begins with Christ's coming. Many are receiving a Christmas gift for the first time in their lives-a gift from someone that they may never have met, but who loves them even so.

Rodné Romeus, AMG's national director in Haiti, shares this about last year's Bundles distribution: "Christmas time is a very important moment for all the national workers, the children and the parents. We have to say that during the Christmas season, the Bundles of Love play a great role socially and spiritually. Socially, when the national workers or the children receive a gift from their sponsors, they feel happy, and spiritually it is an occasion to compare the gifts they receive with the one given by God. The children without a father or a mother have the chance to know that there is someone who is interested in helping, loving them."

Yerrabolu, a leprosy patient at AMG's Valley of Love ministry in India, writes about the distribution there: "Our colony is filled with Christmas joy. We are given new clothes for Christmas. We sing carols in our colony throughout the night before the Christmas day. On Christmas Day we attend a special Worship Service and Praise the Lord Jesus. We shall have a nice love feast for Christmas and New Year."

Because these Bundles of Love are not covered by regular sponsorship gifts, we set aside the month of July each year to celebrate "Christmas in July" by raising the funds needed to provide Bundles at the year's end. This year, there are two exciting new ways to get involved in helping AMG spread the word about this distinctive outreach.

You can contact AMG to receive a foldable cardboard Bundles of Love bank box. If you do, you can assemble it and to engage your family in collecting pocket change throughout the summer and fall. When the box is full, please send your gift from what you collect to help our field staff purchase the material they need to fill the Bundles.

Moreover, we're excited to announce "Bundles of Love Sunday" as a new opportunity to get your whole church or Sunday school class connected to providing gifts this year. If you would like your church to participate, we'll send you a display with information about Bundles of Love and a batch of bank boxes that families can take home to fill. Then set a date in the fall to celebrate Bundles Sunday and have families bring in the money they've collected in their boxes through the year. You can even invite an AMG staff member to come share in that Sunday's service and personally thank your church for their generosity.

Every gift of just $20 provides one Bundle, but gifts of any amount are welcomed. If you sponsor children or national workers, please consider a special gift to provide a Bundle for the children or national workers who mean so much to your family. What better way to celebrate God's gift of His Son at Christmas than to give a gift of love to those who have so little?

It is never too early to think about Christmas!

To learn more about AMG's ministries around the world and how you can celebrate with Bundles of Love, please visit www.amginternational.org or call 1-800-251-7206.

Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel (AMG) International is a non-denominational, international missions agency based in Chattanooga, Tenn. AMG's distinctive has always been its reliance on national workers to carry the Gospel in their own cultures. Today, they operate ministries in over 40 countries around the world through partnership with national believers.

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