During my recent trip to Ukraine, Georgia, and Kosovo, we could feel the evening chill. I zipped up my jacket and wished that I had brought a warmer version. The temperatures reminded me of winter’s imminent and intentional arrival.
The fun and joy of the Christmas season is embodied in giving. We have planned gifts for at-risk young people that are both practical and help them grow in faith. Over 750 young lives will be touched. With your help, at-risk children, widows, orphans, and foster kids will experience a Christmas filled with faith, hope, and love. Together, as partners with
MP, you will share God’s goodness throughout Ukraine and Kosovo.
Christmas is awesome because, through your support and prayers, we will provide firewood to widows and needy families, brand new school backpacks for hundreds of kids, and send 70 kids to Ukraine Winter Camp to grow deep in their faith.
School Backpacks: $25 each
This year, up to 500 needy Ukrainian children will receive brand new age-appropriate school backpacks. A $25 gift will provide one backpack, however there are many siblings and family members that we hope to bless as well. For every child you sponsor, please consider giving two (2) backpacks.
In the past, blankets, Bibles, sheets, and chocolates were part of the “family-type gifts” provided by MP. This year, the kids will get to choose their own backpack. (Please do not tell your sponsored child!)
A total of $12,500 is needed to order the backpacks. Our staff will store, sort, then deliver them during the holidays. Christmas is approaching quickly and we appreciate your generous support.
Firewood for Widows: $75 = 1 month
14 families need 3 square meters: $180 each
A gift of $75 provides one month of firewood for widows and families in Kosovo. Each family needs at least 3 months of firewood. They use their wood to heat one room in the house where they all sleep and live. A gift of $3,000 will provide all of the Kosovar families with their winter firewood needs. This project also provides a boost for jobs in the local economy.
Winter Camp: $100 per child
A Mercy Projects camp in Ukraine means fun and growing in your faith. Kids tell us they look forward all year to going to camp. A gift of $100 helps one child.
Many of the children come from rural areas where no Protestant churches exist. Camp is a time when they make Christian friends and grow deeper in faith. A week of Winter Camp for 70 children costs a total of $10,000, including bus transportation, all meals, a full staff, and a jam-packed week of worship and fun during their Christmas holiday in January.
“These three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I Cor 13:13
In Ukraine, I spoke on a Sunday morning. Afterward, a young woman in her 20’s approached me. “Hello Jeff,”she said. “Do you remember me? I was in the camp when you were there!”
She went on to share. “I grew up in church and I knew the Bible stories. But it was in your camp that I gave my life to Christ. I loved it so much and I knew I wanted to serve there. Today, I work as a counsellor whenever I can. I am so thankful for all you and the sponsors have done for me.”
There is eternal fruit that we will never know about because of MP sponsors and others who pray, and give, to reach young people for Christ. Her story was repeated several times during my trip.
Christmas with the Soldiers
Almost two years ago, I spent Christmas with some Ukrainian soldiers. This was their tree in an abandoned farm house near the front line.
A week later their base was destroyed by a well equipped enemy force. We lost contact. We prayed with the soldiers that day; it may have been their last prayer. I hope you will help us provide gifts and share the gospel this Christmas. We are partners together in this great privilege of serving Christ.
Thanks again for your generosity, trust, and faithfulness. -Jeff Thompson