06 October 2005

giving the gospel

While my mother probably finished her Christmas shopping back in July, most of us still have some gifts to pick out for friends and family.

One option for gift-giving arrived in our mailslot today: the gift catalog for Harvest of Hope, sponsored by Partners International, a global ministry that works to create and grow communities of Christian witness in partnership with God’s people in the least Christian regions of the world. In many ways, Harvest of Hope is similar to Heifer International, except that it is an explicitly Christian ministry that deliberately partners with indigenous church leaders throughout the world.

And so, with the Harvest of Hope catalog in hand (or through their online catalog), you can add various gifts to your Christmas list: clean water for a family in Bangledesh, a piglet for a poor family in China, training for a church planter in Indonesia, Bible stories for children in Turkey, prenatal and follow-up care in Senegal, or an ox and plow for some Sudanese villagers. You can also purchase gift certificates to give to others to enable them to choose how they would like to help Christians in the developing world. There are also lower cost selections that are designed to involve kids in helping others and learning about what God is doing in his church around the world.

Of course, there are many other ways of giving to global missions, perhaps through your own church or wider communion, and there are various other organizations who are engaged in active indigenous ministry. But it seems that Harvest of Hope is a creative way for Christians to use the ease of catalog and online shopping for furthering of Christ's kingdom.