Hope International Ministries

Parcels of Joy

Hi. Well this is our first update for 2024, and in this episode, we’re going to focus on what we’d like to do here in Zambia during the Christmas season. Well, you and I both know Christmas is a time where many of us, we overeat. This time of year, many of us are looking at ways where we can shed a few kilos because of all those meals we had at Christmas time- those too many meals. 

In this part of the world, it’s a very different story. Most families are not thinking about how they can shed kilos, but most families at Christmas time are thinking about, ‘How can I afford to put one meal on the table just enough to feed my family?’ And when you’re struggling to think about how to feed your family, it’s very difficult to think about extras like Christmas gifts and school supplies.

So that’s why at Christmas time in this part of the world, we love to go into those tough areas, those towns and the villages, all the high density residential areas where people are struggling. And we love to bring some Christmas joy, some fun and some games. The Christmas message about Jesus Christ coming as the Savior of the world.

And then we also like to deliver some practical help. In the Christmas parcels, we love to give the children some Christmas gifts, like some hygiene products, soap and toothpaste and toothbrush. Right now, Zambia has a cholera outbreak, which is deadly. So just a bar of soap and some toothpaste and toothbrush can actually save a life.

And then on top of that, we give them some school supplies, which might just be a pencil and an eraser, but that can make a huge difference to a child who’s going into school. When the teacher says, ‘Okay, children, pull out your pencil.’ It’s not embarrassing for them. They can pull out their pencil. I’ve got my pencil. I’ve got my eraser. And then on top of that, we give them a toy. For the boys, we give them an action figure. For the girls, we give them a doll. And you should see the children’s faces light up when they receive that toy and they start comparing it with one another. And they’re so happy. 

So many times you’ll have these children lining up one after the other coming to show you, look at the toy I got. And it’s so wonderful to see that just a few dollars can make a huge difference in a child’s life at Christmas. They feel love. That toy means someone in the world loves me. Someone remembered me. Someone was looking out for me. And on top of that, it also means that they have something to play with. It means that they’ve got something to take to school with them. And it also means that they’ve got something that’s going to save them from catching a deadly disease. 

On top of all these things, the most important reason we go and do these things is the opportunity to share the gospel in a way that is relevant to a child, but also in a language that the parents can understand, where they can also receive the gospel and get saved and have an eternal life with Jesus.

We want to thank you for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to do these outreaches. This year we did them in two areas. One was down south in an area named Kafue and a second area named Matero, which is closer to Lusaka City. So those two areas were touched because of the help that you give us, for the prayer support you give us, and for the encouragement you give us.

We thank you so much. Bless you.