Some friends told me this week that they had given each of their children a £50 allowance this year to buy Christmas gifts for people living in developing countries. Their kids had grasped the opportunity with both hands, putting careful thought into their purchases, and even adding some of their own savings in an effort to make a real difference in the lives of those they were seeking to help.
The idea of 'buying a goat for Christmas' is not new but it is amazing to see the huge variety of other gifts that are now available on line. And for not much outlay at all.
On the Christian Aid site you can buy mosquito nets, school shoes, beekeeping hats and 'wormeries' all for less than £20; 16 ducks go for £25, a tap, toilet and sink for £41 and £96 pays a term's salary for a teacher.
Samaritan's Purse is offering six chickens for £15, a latrine for £30 or a water cooler for £40.
From CBM £26 will provide enough Mectizan tablets to help 40 families for an entire year - stopping the progression of River Blindness (Onchocerciasis) and freeing them from the associated, debilitating symptoms. £20 will restore sight for someone blinded by cataracts.
World Vision is offering herds of goats (£80), flocks of sheep (£120), llama breeding pairs (£90) and trees in lots of 27 (£81).
Other options altogether are being put up by Wateraid, Oxfam and Save the Children.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (2 Corinthians 9:12)