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It’s that time of year when I think very deliberately about giving to neighbors and acquaintances in a way that I don’t think about the rest of the year.

I enjoy having an excuse to give goodies just because it’s the season but I’m also reminded of the time quite a few years ago when we were the recipients of generosity at this time of year.

Over 21 years ago our family joined a mission organization as full-time missionaries. This meant we had to raise our financial support.

We lived on money that was pledged to us from churches and individuals and it was an interesting time of learning to trust God. Some pledges came late. Some came quarterly. Some folks gave a once a year amount and some people just forgot!

In December, we had the blessing of extra funds, packages and cards but the summer months were ones of little income and few cards and letters. We reminded ourselves that people were busy but we still felt less loved in the summer :-(.
If you receive updates from ministries, you will, most likely, find that they experience the same “dry period” in the summer as well. Every ministry I know experiences a drop off in support in the summertime.

So, I have a suggestion for you.  You may be planning a wonderful Christmas ministry time for your family this month. We are doing the same thing. Go down to your local mission and serve meals for the holidays, visit the elderly, give to those who are less fortunate than you (and there is always someone less fortunate, isn’t there?).

It is good for all of us to serve and minister at this time of year and it is very very good for our children to be with us as we do this! Jesus said that if we do it for the least of these we are doing it for Him (and that is a wonderful thing!).images santa in canoe

I have a suggestion for you. As you come tromping in the door of your home (excitedly talking about how much everyone enjoyed being a blessing to others)…before you put the kettle on for hot cocoa, walk over to your calendar and make an appointment on it for this summer. Commit to going back to that same ministry or hurting person and blessing them in the summer months. You are more needed then.

Remind yourself that your summer will be very very busy and it will be easy to put ministry off for another time. Ask God to help you be faithful.  Keep in touch with missionaries or ministries in the summer. Save the funds so you can give extra at that time. Most likely, your words and gifts and service will be like a cup of cold water to a person in a dry time. And that is a wonderful thing!santa