Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Light & Warmth Through Christmas Cards

Vital Signs Ministries' annual Christmas card party last night turned out to be a lively success. There were only 9 of us (Larry & Deb, Quint, Ruth, Allen & Cindy, Carol E., Claire and I) yet in 90 minutes we produced a remarkable amount of correspondence designed to lift spirits, encourage action, and draw people closer to the Lord Jesus. It was a splendid Christmas experience.

Among our Christmas card recipients were 16 Christians who have been persecuted and unjustly imprisoned for their faith in such places as China, Iran, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Eritrea. Using the resources of The Voice of the Martyrs' superb website, we had prepared messages to these saints before the party began and we then glued those messages inside lovely, colorful Christmas cards. The messages (again, thanks to VOM) included Scripture verses in the prisoner's own language. All 16 of these prisoners were sent three cards, each card with a different Christmas scene, each card with a different message inside, and each card signed by three of us.

We also wrote Christmas cards (with appropriate messages inside) to Senator-elect Ben Sasse, Governor-elect Pete Ricketts, Congressman-elect Brad Ashford, outgoing Congressman Lee Terry, Mayor Jean Stothert, and others. Also, we all signed thank you Christmas cards to Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Norm Geisler, Joni & Ken Tada, Ben Carson, and others.

And finally — hold onto your Santa hat — we wrote Christmas cards to every resident of the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home! That’s right, over 100 veterans, spouses and widows will be receiving beautiful Christmas cards today as Claire and I will take them over personally today. The handwritten messages inside expressed our warmest Christmas greetings, thanked them for their loyal service to our nation, and shared our desire that the holy light of Jesus’ birthday would brighten their hearts in this precious season, bringing them special joy and peace and spiritual strength.

Also part of the evening were prayers for each of the persecuted Christians as well as prayers that God would protect each Christmas card along its way. We prayed too for all the others to whom we sent cards, asking the Lord to use them for His purposes. And, of course, we also had some time to enjoy conversation, cookies, and coffee together. It was a terrific evening, full of Christmas cheer and productivity.

Everyone present last night had one other request to make to the Lord before we left. And that was for similar letter-writing parties to become a regular activity for churches, Sunday school classes, and other groups of Christian friends. Let's remember that raising our voices in the King's service of encouragement, advocacy, enlightenment, and challenge is a necessary and ongoing responsibility for the believer in Christ. And prayerful letters are a marvelously effective means of carrying those voices way beyond our own neighborhoods. This why Vital Signs Ministries has hosted letter-writing parties for over 30 years.

How about you? Perhaps you're interested in joining us for our next letter-writing evening? Or maybe you'd like a little help in setting up your own. Either way, give us a call or email or FB message and we'll do our very best to help make it happen. Thanks. And merry Christmas!