‘Gifts for Jesus’ Members Donate All Year Long
Story by Debra Anderson
Through their yearlong “Gifts for Jesus” ministry, members of the Smith Mountain Lake church in Moneta, Va., give financial donations that are placed on a mission tree designated for chosen projects. For more than 16 years, Gifts for Jesus has enjoyed much success.
Last year, the church chose three organizations for its gift-giving campaign: the Navajo Missions (Ariz.), Eyes for India and The People of Peru Project. Members collected baby items and a crib (pictured) for babies at the Navajo Missions. The Eyes for India organization received funds to help with eye exams, surgeries and glasses for the country’s 15 million blind individuals. And, with Peru ranked as the country with the highest spread of COVID-19 per capita, donated funds by members to The People of Peru Project helped many individuals without income to buy food for their families.
This year, members have decided to maintain donations to these three organizations, allowing for gift-giving all year long instead of the traditional one Sabbath in December. “My prayer for 2021 is that we each extend a hand to share in the uplifting of humanity and reflecting of God’s love to those in need,” shares Kathy Bried, a program participant.
While engaging in this ministry, members often reflect on Jesus' words in Matthew 25:40: “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (KJV).