This December, as we always do, we will celebrate Christ’s birth in our church and homes. We also want to give generously so that the good news of Christ can be received by others in our community, and around the world. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” Luke 2:10. As a church we want to invite you to join in this effort across the world, and in our community.
Around the World
Help The Timothy Initiative Plant Churches
One of our mission partners, The Timothy Initiative, is working to plant A Church In Every Village (ACHIEV) in India and Nepal. These are villages that have never had a church, and haven’t heard the good news of Jesus salvation. It costs about $300 to plant one church. This Christmas season as a church we want to plant 20 churches where there has never been one. As we celebrate the generous gift of Christ on Christmas, we also want to give generously so that others around the world will have the same opportunity.
“Christmas Challenge” Our Challenge Goal is 20 churches, at $300 each for a total of $6000.
Will you begin praying now and asking God how He would like you to respond to this challenge? You can give online, by mail, or in-person.
In Our Community
Decorating at Alderwood Park
This year we had a team meet our Outreach Deacon, Lynette, at Alderwood Park Health & Rehabilitation Center to decorate the courtyard for Christmas. Here is what Lynette had to say after everything was finished:
“The decorating at Alderwood Park was great. It was so fun to work together to bring joy to the residents.“
Thank you Lynette for reaching out into the community and bringing joy to the residents at Alderwood with your team of decorators!
The Community Toy Store
For the last several years we have been part of an event called The Community Toy Store, including last Christmas when we hosted it at Northwest. The underlying principle of this event is to help those experiencing financial difficulties in our community by offering them a “hand up, not a hand out”.
Here’s how it works; people from churches throughout Whatcom county purchase gifts and donate them to the toy store. The Store then prices these gifts at around 25% of their actual retail value. These gifts are then set up in a store like fashion ready for families to shop. Families from our community are referred to the store by other churches, agencies, and the Bellingham School District. The families purchase these deeply discounted gifts for their families for Christmas.
The idea is that the family has the joy of choosing gifts they know their children will love, and the dignity of purchasing them themselves. The money raised from the store is then donated to other non-profit organizations serving in Bellingham. This further gives the families the joy that their purchases go on to help others in our community. The Community Toy Store event allows multiple churches to put the generous love and gift of Jesus on display to many in our community. Northwest hosted the Toy Store again for 2021.
This year The Community Toy Store served 252 families, giving gifts to approximately 705 kids! This means that the shoppers are donating $5,208 in total. The Family Resource Center will receive $1,000 and $4,208 will go to the Whatcom Refugee Resettlement Project. The Toy Store was also able to donate toys to flood victims in Everson. AMAZING!
As we think of the amazing gift of Christ and His coming to save us, we are excited to think about the opportunity we have to share that gift across the world and in our community.