Our Heavenly Father is a giver. He sent His Only Begotten Son to die upon a cross for our sins. I believe that is the ultimate example of how to give to others. And while we are called to give year-round, something about the Christmas Season softens our hearts and we become more Christ-like.
There is also another take-away from the story of Jesus’ birth; our Savior came into the world as a baby. God is a God of life. He is the author and finisher of life. As believers, we are called to honor and uphold life, not just in the womb and at birth, but throughout the life of a child. I have a couple of examples in my area of ministries and organizations making a difference for children and the Kingdom of God.
The first is Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery (www.miniobeirne.org). Children in crisis situations due to family issues are welcomed into this haven 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Shelter isn’t the only assistance MOCN offers. Children can receive service such as developmental screenings, medical and dental care, and clothing. This group also assists families in crisis situations in navigating their way through those setbacks and emergencies with counseling, home visits, and necessities, as well as other needed services. MOCN is staffed by volunteers and there are no fees or charges for those who come to them needing help. One fundraiser that they have annually is the Children’s Holiday Store. This fundraiser begins right around Thanksgiving and runs through December 23rd. Small, inexpensive items are available for purchase that children can give as gifts to loved ones.
Another way that MOCN can receive much-needed donations is through the Amazon Smiles program. Five percent of the price of eligible Amazon purchases are donated to any group that participates in the program, one of which is MOCN. So far in 2017, MOCN has cared for over 2,700 infants and children. They are one of six crisis nurseries in Illinois.
The second group is Beer La Hai Roi (www.beerlahairoi.com) home for pregnant and unwed mothers, also in crisis. This non-profit ministry takes its name from the well in which Hagar heard from the Lord after she fled from Abraham and Sarah. Like the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery, this worthy group is also always in need of donations and funds. They see that the expectant women and children who reside in the home receive the medical care they need, as well as assisting these moms in obtaining employment, setting up in their own home, counseling, and mentoring. Beer La Hai Roi’s biggest fundraiser is the Hike for Moms and Babies, generally held every October. They help these young women choose life for their babies, then help prepare them to provide and care for them. Beer La Hai Roi is also staffed by volunteers. Though this home is in Springfield, Illinois, they have taken in women from all over the U.S.
If you have ministries and organizations such as these in your town or city, please prayerfully consider how God might be calling you to help these parents and families choose life.
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV
(Cheri Ballinger Coffman is a contributor to Patriot Gaines. Look for Cheri’s new blog soon. In the meantime, follow Cheri on Twitter under the handle @KvetchforChrist. Cheri is the proud mom of three children & resides in Central Illinois.)