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11.20.2012

It's a Birthday Party for Jesus! (and a story)

You are invited 
to our Birthday Party for Jesus!
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If you cannot come to the party, that's okay. 
You can still give Jesus a birthday gift 
by contributing towards the home for a single mom. 

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, 
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 
Matthew 25:40

We're trying to raise $2,950 to buy a single mom and her children a home through World Vision's gift catalog.


In countries like Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, single mothers struggle to protect their children. Imagine the desperation of trying to care for your kids in a run-down, leaky hut. Your gift will bring joy to a mother's heart by providing a new or renovated home where she and her children can feel safe and secure.

We set up a link here where you can make a secure donation online. 
It's kinda like an  online Birthday Party for Jesus!
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If you live in Rochester, or near enough to come,
you're invited to our home to celebrate Jesus' birthday with us.
Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 3-5pm.
(if you need directions, comment below with your email address. If I know you, I'll send you directions.)

There will be a Jesus' Birthday Cake, a special Christmas tradition of ours.
And birthday games and birthday fun.
And the birthday story, a birthday tradition of ours.

Don't forget to bring a gift for Jesus! 
That's what this is all about.

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Now, please read the story of how the Birthday Party for Jesus came to be:

When our son, John, was old enough to understand that birthday parties were a pretty big deal, he asked us on Christmas day when we were going to have the birthday cake.

What! The birthday cake? I'd grown up having lutefisk and lefse at Christmas, not birthday cake. After we moved away from Minnesota, and thankfully away from easily obtainable lutefisk, we started having fondue at Christmas which was a much more preferable Christmas tradition. But we never had a birthday cake.

And yet, to John, at two or three years old, it made perfect sense because we'd been telling him all along that Christmas was when we celebrated Jesus' birthday.

The next year and every year after, we've had birthday cake for Jesus' birthday.

Last year, as I looked through the World Vision gifts catalog (I get so excited when it comes) I suggested to JD that each of us choose a gift to give to Jesus from the gift catalog. It would be a sacrifice, but he was totally on board with the idea.

If you've never looked through the World Vision gift catalog, 
you really should. 
It will immediately make you thankful for what you have. 
Blessing others less fortunate is such a blessing.

Our daughter, Sarah, who was seven at the time, looked through the catalog just as carefully as she looks through the advertisements from Justice. After a while she made her decision and told us that she wanted to give a home to a mother and her children. 

I looked at the details:

Home for a Mother and her Children
$2,950

In countries like Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, single mothers struggle to protect their children. Imagine the desperation of trying to care for your kids in a run-down, leaky hut. Your gift will bring joy to a mother's heart by providing a new or renovated home where she and her children can feel safe and secure.




"How about if we give a share of a home? That's only $50," I suggested. Because when I was thinking about giving sacrificially, I was thinking that $50 was a sacrifice. It's not that I wouldn't give away five homes if we could. We just couldn't. There was no way we could do even one home.

"No, I want to give the whole home," she said.

And that's when we decided to have a party and try to raise enough for a home. I warned her that we might not raise $2,950 because that's quite a lot. I spared her my own frustrations at trying to raise funds in full time ministry.

She was totally game for it. We had the party and we raised enough to buy a sheep, a goat and some chickens. Which is really cool.

This year, as Christmas approached, I asked her if she wanted to set a different goal, a lower goal. 

"No, I want to get a home for a mother and her children," she said. She's determined.

So here we go again. And whether we buy a home or more sheep and goats, it will totally be worth it.

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