From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Thanksgiving Ponderings And World Vision

I avoided the Black Friday sales so far. But sitting at my computer and seeing all the ads for all the oh-so-important things to buy, things worth standing in line outside for hours to buy, I got to thinking. How spoiled am I? I went to the Thanksgiving Eve service Wednesday evening, and remembered where I came from, and Who got me where I am. And ogling Black Friday ads is the way I choose to honor Christ?

Of course I have this voice in my head, ready to accuse me of all kinds of things. But before discounting that voice, I need to think about what I’m doing. Or, more specifically, what I’m not doing. For others. For others whose need is far deeper, and more desperate, than for an external hard drive or a twelfth sweater.

I got to thinking about World Vision – yep they sent me a catalog too. I was familiar with their child sponsorship program, but hadn’t realized the array of gifts that can be given, through them, to people the world would call poor

  • Two chickens for a family to breed, providing eggs, extra protein – cost: $25
  • One pig, leading to up to 20 piglets – cost: $195
  • Ten ducks – cost: $60
  • Five ducks and two chickens – cost: $55
  • Five rabbits – cost: $80

These aren’t exactly bank-breaking gifts to give. If you’ve a mind for something more, consider:

  • One donkey – cost: $225
  • One alpaca – cost: $360
  • One dairy cow – cost: $500
  • Two oxen and plow – cost $575
  • Flock of ten sheep – cost: $1,050

In addition to these “in kind”, critter gifts, there are also gifts to:

  • help sexually exploited girls
  • provide job training
  • keep newborns alive
  • provide toys, clothes, shoes, housing, fruit trees, honeybees, tools & training, etc. etc. etc.

I encourage you to check out World Vision’s website (click here) for yourself, and see if there isn’t a way for you to honor Christ more concretely this season.

FYI, if you’re being inundated by charitable organizations this time of year, you may want to check out Charity Navigators (click here). World Vision gets very high scores from them.

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