"Bundles of Love" Make Christmas Special

by Bob Gerow

Christmas is not much of a surprise in the U.S. Some stores were putting out Christmas items in mid-August! By now the message is, "Only 65 shopping days left!" The only remaining "unknown" will be whatever is under the fancy paper with my name on it.

In stark contrast, the best hope for many individuals in our big world is to survive to see another day. "Christmas" is an unknown. Gifts from family members are rare. The fact that a stranger would provide a gift never crosses the mind.

AMG International changes that.

For over fifty years AMG International has surprised and brought joy into the lives of boys and girls, national workers, and leprosy victims through a special year-end "Bundles of Love" event. Bundles of Love are tangible expressions of how God loved us all when He sent His Son as the ultimate Gift.

Leprosy is a dreadful disease. Those who suffer from it undergo horrible physical consequences, but the rejection they endure is worse. As a rule, they don't experience very much love in their lives. A Bundle of Love is a very practical gift because it contains things that the leprosy victim needs: food, sandals to protect their feet, a blanket each to keep them warm and other essentials to help them in the coming year. The presentation of the gift also meets a true emotional need, and AMG staff is able to tell about the Bundle of Love that God gave to the world in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Another precious group of people that receive Bundles of Love is AMG's vast army of national workers. These dedicated men and women sacrificially serve the Lord in hard places and difficult circumstances. A Bundle of Love encourages them with the truth that God is supplying their needs and that there are people who pray for them and want to support them.

Paul Jenks, AMG's president, recalls a touching scene as the wives of our national workers in Thailand were also given Bundles of Love. "We gave saris to the wives of some of our workers there during this season. The men had tears in their eyes because no one had ever thought about their wives before. We in this country treat the wives of our pastors in a very special way, but that was a new thing for them."

And there are the children. Miss Remy, the director of AMG's Handumanan Childcare Center in the Philippines, said: "The children look forward to Bundles of Love. It is a special gift to them that they highly value. It is all the more meaningful when we explain to them that God gave us the best gift of all when He sent Jesus to this world to be our Savior. These little children are bundles of love' that God has placed into our care. We treasure them just as I believe the Lord Jesus does. We are so thankful that Christians in North America care enough to spread the joy of Christmas through Bundles of Love."

Christmas is the time of year when we give gifts to our children, grandchildren, and loved ones. It is a time when we celebrate the Lord's birth, His life, and the eternal life we have because of His death, burial, and resurrection. However, the world is full of people who have no one to love them. Many are too poor to give gifts. Circumstances have so beaten some of them down that for them, December 25th is just another day.

Through Bundles of Love, Christmas day becomes special because the message of God's great love is conveyed both in word and in deed. I can think of no more pleasant surprise!

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