Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church

Getting Ready For Christmas XLIII

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Getting Ready For Christmas


Here we are in the first week of December, just over three weeks from Christmas and the rush is on. The US has already had their biggest shopping day of the year. Christmas, the biggest economic drain on the family budget. The highest stress level is at this time of year. Is this the plan God had for Christmas?

Does His Christmas come only once in the year? We are very blessed it doesn't. He never shuts Heaven down even for a day. How good He is to us.

When the children of Israel came into the promised land everyone was given a place for a home and livelihood. Unfortunately things happen and some became poor but God made provisions for them too.

When a farmer cut his ripe grain he was not to cut every corner and was not to pick up everything that had fallen nor pick up a sheaf that had fallen off the wagon. This was to be left for the poor. The poor had to go to the field after the reapers and pick this up and take it home. The Seventh-day Adventist Church follows this plan somewhat.

We have in the church several organizations that work with the church. One is called A.D.R.A., Adventist Development and Relief Administration. ADRA was organized to help people in need all over the world. Many people have Christmas all year through ADRA. Their plan is to teach and help people to help themselves.

When they find a village and there are a lot of them where there are no schools, they go to the leaders and ask if they want a school. If they do and most do, ADRA provides material, food and supervision and have the people build their own. This way it is their school.

ADRA provides a teacher and in certain cases, food for the children and classes for the mothers on how to care for and keep the family healthy.

In many places clean water is a problem. ADRA provides a well so people don't have to walk miles for water which is so necessary for life. Water for inside and outside is essential for good health.

This Christmas, the church wants to raise money for a well. What a Christmas present that would be for them! And, for us to know they had clean, cool, fresh water to use.

Sometimes ADRA will give a cow or goat to a needy family for milk and a little income but when that animal gives birth to a baby it goes back to ADRA which, when grown, will be given to another family and so on.

Mongolia is a country with a harsh climate, sometimes during severe winters many of them live off their animals. These are left out all winter. The wind blows the snow off the barren rolling hills. Here is where the cows, goats and sheep winter. Sometimes a severe winter, with more than normal snow creates problems for the animals and sometimes the whole herd is lost and people are left with nothing. ADRA has come to their aid and is providing seeds and showing them how to grow a garden and how to keep things and preserve food for their families. They may also have some for sale so they are not totally depending on their animals.

Sometimes ADRA introduces people to fruit trees that are suited to their climate. ADRA teaches them how to grow and care for this fruit.

Education is their biggest project. Give young people an education so they can find work and provide for themselves. Then maybe lead their families in such a way as to give them an alternative to the ever demanding and devastating sex trade. ADRA's main goal is to provide people with a better standard of living.

Before Jesus went back to Heaven He gave the church a commission and that was to go into all the world to every nation, kindred, tongue and people and preach the gospel to all. The aim of ADRA is to help people have a better, healthier lifestyle and also teach them of God, His love, care and eternal life in Heaven at His second coming.

Working with and for people is the best way to teach them, but more important is to show them that God loves everyone no matter who or where they might be by helping them achieve a healthier and happier life. When they see God's care for them and who He is many forsake their old way of life and accept Jesus and His better way. The world church supports this work by offerings of money and donations of time.

Next week we will look at another organization in the church that works for the welfare of people. This is called:

                                   Maranatha Volunteers