New Clothing And Gifts Given To Missionaries - By Cookie Johnson
The seed for Christmas in November was planted in 1981 by two ladies who visited a missionary family and showered them with gifts. Martha and Maxine had no idea their kind deeds would be the seed that was planted into the hearts of their missionaries and would later germinate into a beautiful concept that would bring blessings to many European missionaries and to the Gypsies of Hungary and Romania.
Christmas in November originated in 2003 with one box of ladies clothing that was collected from friends and shipped to Germany to give to those attending the Mission Possible European Retreat. It was such a joy to see the pleasure it brought the women, that we began looking for clothing to collect for the next year. As time went on, we were able to add more and more new clothing along with clothing that was donated by various churches. In 2009, we were able to ship 15 boxes of clothing to be given away.
Since the humble beginnings of that first year, Christmas in November has taken on a life of its own through God touching the hearts of fellow Christians. People who have heard what has been done for missionaries are starting to ask themselves, "What can I do or contribute to encourage missionaries?" As a result, we now have clothing for the men and children as well as for the ladies. Twice, our Ophthalmologist has donated about 35 pairs of special sunglasses. We have had churches collect items that are used for gift bags which include lotions, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, pens, writing pads, razors and various other items.
In 2007, we had a group of ladies who raised money to come to the Retreat through yard sales. These ladies came to pamper the missionaries with haircuts, facials for the women and couples photo. In 2009, through hearing an illustration about giving only the best to God, the Lord challenged a young couple to do something special for the missionaries. This young man develops software for phones and through his company, was able to buy 35 blue tooth head sets for the missionaries to use with their cell phones.
We do not know what the Lord has in store for the 2017 Christmas in November Project. We do know that God speaks to the hearts of His children and there is someone who has a special talent or gift that would be a great blessing to these precious men and women who have given their all to serve the Lord.