Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Less presents, more Christmas

The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and love. God’s gift to us was built on love. When Jesus loved he loved in ways never imagined. He loved the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked, and the sick. He then commanded us to feed the hungry and to care for the widows and the orphans. Forgotten Voices has enabled me to follow that command. There are few places in the world where the need is more pressing than where Forgotten Voices is working.

It never ceases to amaze me how God strategically places us where He can best use us for His purposes and glory. I am constantly looking for God’s direction in my life and when the Lord blessed us with three boys in two years I knew I was needed at home. With the prospect of all three boys in school I wanted to find a way to use the skills God had given me for His glory. One thing I know is that when God is in the changes of life, it is exciting and filled with good things!

When Forgotten Voices approached me to help with accounting, I assumed it was just another organization that was helping people in Africa. Two things changed that view. What amazed me first was the unique approach that Forgotten Voices takes. Forgotten Voices works side by side with and empowers the local churches to come up with sustainable solutions for orphan care. This puts ownership and pride in the communities, not in the Board of Directors. Second, I was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. There are over 2 million children across southern Africa who have become orphaned by the AIDS virus. At one board meeting Ryan was talking about the fact that even If we help 100,000 children this year there are still thousands of children Forgotten Voices will never touch. Where is the hope? A friend of mine told me not to let the great need overwhelm you, rather let it move you. I cannot change the whole world, but I can still make a difference.

This Christmas we, as a family, have decided to buy one less unnecessary Christmas present. I have been given many Christmas gifts over the years. Some were deeply thoughtful and greatly appreciated. Others, while appreciated, likely ended up in the white elephant gift exchange the following Christmas. By buying one less unnecessary present we can contribute to the mission of Forgotten Voices so that our family will be able to be a part of a gift that is lasting and life changing. After all, isn’t that what the First Christmas was about?

Dyan McAlister
- Forgotten Voices Board Member and Director of External Reporting, Presbyterian Senior Living

1 comment:

brian said...

What a powerful and motivating story! Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging us to rethink the holidays.