Welcome to the
Family, food, friends and fun?
It's great to celebrate. Like many other Christians, though, I struggle with the mix of consumerism and faith at Christmas. There's Jesus in the manger versus Santa in his grotto (yes, I took my grandson to the latter). There's our joyful celebrations when brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are having their churches bombed and their services disrupted. Half the world will go hungry while we will stuff our faces until we can't eat any more. For days on end. But I will join in, and be grateful that Christ came. Can you guess what these lovely festive items are in the photo? They're Christmas treats for dogs. You can buy Christmas outfits for your dog, too. Has the world gone mad? No, just desperately seeking something to fill the hole that only God can fill. We need to help them find it. After all, that's why Jesus came.
It's a Wonderful Life!
Remember that old film, 'It's a Wonderful Life' where the hero is shown what would have happened if he hadn't done the good he did for the people of his town? We have been placed where we are for a reason – God has prepared good works for us to do! Christmas is such a wonderful opportunity to reach out to those we love with a gift of a book instead of chocolate (tin of chocs same price as one of our books!) - if you're not sure what to buy, your local Christian bookshop can help you choose the perfect present. Don't let's miss that opportunity – books can change lives! If you can afford it, why not buy Christian books/gifts for all your friends, family and neighbours? You could be the sower of so much blessing, to pass on down the generations . . . awesome! Click here if you'd like to look at our books for children.
Is it Santa's birthday?
According to a survey conducted for the Children's Society, 14% of 6-12 year-olds think 25th December is Santa's birthday. Want to fight back? How about offering a gift of books for your local school library or local library this Christmas? Check out the latest 'special offers' page on our website for a good deal to help you reach out to the children where you are with the 'message in a story'. Click here to go to Dernier website
Kindle for Christmas?
You can buy 'The Treasure Hunt' and 'Mystery in the Snow' on Amazon. Great if you need a story for your 8-11s in a hurry – ready to read in just five minutes – perfect for a wet, grey day in the holidays! Also great for reluctant readers who think it's fun to read on something digital, or for those with less than perfect eyesight – you can increase the size of the font :-)
Books for children in Kenya
Thank you to those of you who have bought books for children in Kisumu in Kenya. It's not too late to buy a book; all donated books will be taken over to the children in the spring. Let me know if you would like to join in the blessing!
Also, I have been talking to a lady who works for a Christian charity that reaches out to prisoners in this country. Did you know that there are around 200,000 children in England and Wales with a parent in prison? 7% (around 1 in 15) children will experience their father’s imprisonment before they leave school. This charity helps prisoners send presents to their children (including a Christian book if the parent would like this) – you can read all about it here: Angel Tree Wouldn't it be great if we were able to help supply books for these children, to share the 'message in a story' with them, and help their relationship with their parent? Please pray as we consider how we can best help. If you have any ideas, please don't hesitate to contact me!
Sharing the wealth :-)
Here is a book review we received recently of 'Under the Tamarind Tree', with many thanks to all of you who pray. “My name is Annie*, I’m 11 years old, and I’m a missionary kid in Central Africa (in Cameroon). I’ve lived in Africa for 8 years. I’m home-schooled and I like to do art.
I like “Under the Tamarind Tree” because I find it interesting reading about a boy who’s just become a missionary kid. The book is set in Rwanda and I lived in Rwanda for 5 years. I can relate to a lot of what the book is about. Mary Weeks Millard describes life in Rwanda so well that it makes me feel like I’m back there.
“Under the Tamarind Tree’’ is exciting and interesting. It really gives you a feel for what it’s like for kids who have left their home country to serve God where people need Him.
I think this book is good for both boys and girls, aged 12 and under. When I read it, it makes me forget my worries and problems because I get into the book so much. The book isn’t just for missionary kids – anyone would enjoy it.” *Name changed
If your church supports missionaries with children, how about sending them a parcel of exciting Christian stories?
Well I was hoping to fit in some more reviews, and news of the Christian Parenting Challenge, but I've run out of room! I'll try to fit in another newsletter between now and Christmas :-)
May you have a wonderful time of Advent, and may you sow many seeds!
With grateful thanks as always,
P.S. If you need any help choosing a book or a selection of books, please do ask :-)