'Tis the season to give.
While children beg for toys, parents check items off their shopping lists and stores stock their shelves for the holiday rush, Christian ministries are striving to give more generously than ever this Christmas season.
Charisma News is highlighting several nonprofits that are giving to the poor, the needy and the marginalized this Christmas—all to the glory of Jesus Christ.
Metro World Child Share Gospel With Over 275,000 Kids
In the last two weeks, the Sunday school of Metro World Child has provided Christmas to well over 275,000 children in New York City and 11 other countries. Through Metro's annual Christmas outreach, Operation Holiday Hope, each child was able to attend Sunday school, hear the gospel of Jesus and receive a personal Christmas gift.
In New York City, Metro teams shared the Christmas message with more than 24,000 children. In the Philippines, team members visited garbage dumps and cemeteries to share the hope of Jesus so that no child would feel forgotten this Christmas.
In Kenya, where many children live in poverty and go hungry, Metro World Child was able to provide the gift of food.
"This is the 24th year since we started Operation Holiday Hope, and it has become the largest, most influential opportunity to share the gospel," Metro World Child founder Bill Wilson says. "At Christmastime, when people are always more open to hearing the story of Jesus, it continues to grow every year. As we all know, Christmastime is when everyone needs that extra reminder that someone is thinking of them. We have learned it's not the gift itself; it's the love, the thoughtfulness, the human connection and the timeless message of Christ that has made it what it has become.
"275,000 is an amazing miracle only made possible by Christians, churches and Christian businesses all around the world. It's never been done in history. But we're thankful that the Lord has allowed us to ensure that through this worldwide team effort, every single one of these children that we minister to know that they're loved and remembered, and given an opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior this Christmas. And they left with a tangible reminder of that love in their hands and Christ in their hearts."
Los Angeles Dream Center Gives Away Thousands of Gifts
The Los Angeles Dream Center transformed its parking lot this past weekend into a Christmas winter wonderland and hosted over 6,000 people. The lot featured over 8,000 gifts, a skating rink, Santa Claus, wintry treats and even an appearance from Anna and Elsa from Frozen.
The Dream Center presented a brand-new car to a family in need, giving them a way to get to and from work. The family was a recipient of the Dream Center's residential recovery program.
Organizations that partnered with the Dream Center to make this event possible included: Family First Life, the Justin Turner Foundation, iHeartRadio and AM 570. Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner attended the event with his wife to help give away gifts to the children.
The "Christmas Dreamland" proved to be the Dream Center's largest Christmas giveaway to date.
"We had a record-breaking crowd as we wrap up a record-breaking year," says Dream Center co-founder Matthew Barnett. "It was truly a special night to have our facility packed as I've never seen it before. Thousands of families were able to enjoy a night filled with blessings overflowing from many of our faithful sponsors. This is a Christmas season we'll never forget. Thanks to all who played such a pivotal role in spreading the message and love of Christ to the families of Los Angeles this year."
Samaritan's Purse Rebuilds Home Destroyed by Tornado Just in Time for Christmas
One Alabama woman is thanking God for a home this Christmas. In March, tornadoes destroyed Earnestine Reese's entire home—all but her prayer closet.
When Reese made national headlines for her sturdy prayer closet, Samaritan's Purse stepped up to help her build a new home.
This Friday, Dec. 20, Samaritan's Purse will officially give Reese the keys to her new home.
"When Ms. Reese lost everything, she thanked God," says Samaritan's Purse President and CEO Franklin Graham. "As soon as I heard her story, I knew we had to help. Samaritan's Purse is excited to welcome Ms. Reese home just in time for Christmas."
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