Our volunteers have used the Christmas season as a way to reach the children of Chile with the message of God’s love for the last 12 years. Usually we hold Christmas parties to sing carols, tell the story of the first Christmas, have refreshments and then give out toys to the children.
When I phoned the director of the children’s hospital for rehabilitation therapy to discuss the preparations for our yearly Christmas party, at I was in for a very gratifying surprise. She told me, “We don’t really need another party. What we need is for you to come with your flannel graph and explain the true meaning of Christmas to the kids. Other people can make the party, but giving the message of Christmas is something that only you can do.”
We put together a simple presentation on the theme of giving gifts to Jesus. First we did the flannel graph of the story of the first Christmas and then we made beautiful little gift boxes in which each child put a card. On this card the children wrote out the gift that they would like to give Jesus this year.
Then each child received one of the beautiful sponsored story books from the Grandpa Jake collection, and we gave a complete collection to the Hospital school.
On December 23rd we visited a small church that we have also helped for many years. After we gave the Christmas message to the congregation, we took the children aside for an “exchange of gifts” with Jesus. As each child received his Grandpa Jake book they would also say what they would like to give to Jesus for His birthday. We wrote their proposed gift on a card and hung it on the Christmas tree.
On King’s Day we traveled to the little towns of Chincolco and Cabildo. Because we wanted to be sure to place the beautiful Grandpa Jake story books in the hands of children that would really value them we opted for going door to door. We would explain the value of the gift to each parent as we presented the books to the children. The families were so very touched that we would come to their humble homes to give them these precious gifts. We prayed for each household and the children joined in to ask Jesus into their hearts as their personal savior.
Afterwards the children met with us at the little country church for story time and united games. We gave collections of the Uncle Jake Story books to the Sunday schools of the two little towns we visited, as well as to the municipal kindergarten of Chincolco.
Our special thanks to Activated Ministries for donating these wonderful books that will influence the lives of many families in Chile.