Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Surprised by Hope Holiday Giving

As Christmas approaches, people are looking for ways to be involved in meaningful gift-giving. Surprised by Hope believes that there’s much more to Christmas than shallow commercialism. As I reflect on my Christmas gift-giving over the years, I recall two specific Christmas' that highlight the long-held depth of my belief.

Way back before any of my siblings married, my sister and I argued about Christmas gift giving. To illustrate my point – probably with a less gracious spirit than it might seem – I gave my sister a news article about a lady whose house burned down and whose child died. I shared with my sister that I'd brought this lady some household goods to help her get started again…all in the name of my sister. Today, that sister is one of the most generous people I know.

Later, when my own children were young, I wanted them to value the generosity of Christmas rather than covet the giant pile of gifts I did as a child. Throughout the year we did service projects. One year we cleaned up a Grand Rapids park after a particularly severe windstorm. I'd bet what they remember is not getting many gifts that year, they were children after all, but I can see their generous spirits twinkling at me occasionally.

Surprised by Hope believes that Christmas is a celebration of generosity, love, and risk-taking obedience. This year's Christmas newsletter is a multi-faceted campaign that provides you with a variety of opportunities to be involved in God’s mission during the Christmas season. It’s sort of like our Christmas list. We want to provide you with opportunities that re-connect you with the true message of Christmas about a God of love who sent his Son into the world to save us from our sin.
There are six great ways you can fill our Christmas stocking this year and we hope you find one that tickles your gift giving spirit.

100 Christmas Dollies 2014

Thirty little brown dollies donning their winks and smirks are crossing the ocean on their way to sights unseen (the inside of Posta Uganda). Added to what we already have, we'll joyfully launch our 100 Christmas Dollies campaign. Click here to peruse the dollies and listen for the one who whispers your name. Then send $25 for each dolly you love and we'll be sure that your dolly gets into the hands of a new little mommy (or daddy) on Christmas day.

Click here to choose your favorite dollies to sponsor.

Click here to find out which church will receive this Christmas gift using the funds donated from your dolly sponsorships.

Count Your Blessings

This is a savings box without a piggy tummy plug.
Last year Surprised by Hope received a gift because one family "counted their blessings." We received a blessing because they added one cent for every pair of  shoes and boots they had in their house. We received a blessing because they added 25 cents for every item of clothing they wore that belonged to them and only them. We received a blessing because for the month of December and the days leading to Epiphany, this family counted their blessings. Many American's fully realize how blessed they are, but the Count Your Blessings giving activity is a great daily reminder for families to give thanks and to give blessings.

If you Count your Blessings as a family this holiday season, Surprised by Hope will deliver your blessings to an East African family in need. Click here to start counting your blessings on December 1.

Shop AmazonSmile on Cyber Monday and Beyond

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Surprised by Hope every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Surprised by Hope.

Click here to set Surprised by Hope as your favorite charity and start your Christmas shopping early.

Jacaranda Creations Make the Perfect Gift

These beautiful Jacaranda products are handcrafted with quality by women in the Nairobi slums. Each product you purchase provides an income for local women who use that income to feed, clothe, and educate their children. Surprised by Hope works alongside Jacaranda in a variety of ways and we strongly believe in their mission, that's why we continue making their products available to you.

This holiday season, consider purchasing Jacaranda Creations products as gifts for the people you love. The gift goes beyond the product itself, but also toward helping a lady out of poverty. There are several ways you can support Surprised by Hope and Jacaranda Creations at the same time:
  • Visit the showroom (okay, the living room of the lady who manages product events).
  • Offer the products for purchase at your company Christmas party or at your family gathering. This one is so easy, all you have to do is ask!
  • Gather friends for ladies night and offer some early Christmas shopping along with a cup of cocoa.
The products sell themselves, they're gorgeous, trendy, and crafted with care. Click here to arrange your most convenient way to shop.

eBay Giving Works

When sellers list their items for charity, they choose how much of the final selling price they would like to donate and which organization to benefit…and they receive a credit on their seller fees. Sellers listing items through eBay Giving Works benefit because their items are easier to find and get extra exposure by being listed on eBay, the eBay Giving Works site, and on the MissionFish site.. MissionFish also provides a simple process to remit funds to the appropriate charity and a receipt for tax purposes. 

Buyers can more easily find items supporting a cause, be assured the donation will reach the intended and pre-verified organization, and be satisfied in knowing they have made a difference. Click here to begin selling for Surprised by Hope.

Financial Management for Pastors and Church Leaders

Surprised by Hope is preparing a Financial Management conference for pastors and church leaders on coastal Kenya. During the second week of December, we'll welcome pastors from near and far to learn how and why to:
  • Prioritize tithing, saving, and giving
  • Track income and expenses (accountability)
  • Analyze financial statements to make business decisions
  • Budget for church growth and church events

Please take a look at the blog post for more details and prayerfully consider giving so that pastors have the materials they need to fully engage in the training, so that their stomachs are full as they process things like…math…, and so that traveling pastors have a place to lay their heads at night. Will you join us?

Want to Give?

Click here to give using your credit card or PayPal.

Or, send your check to:
            Surprised by Hope
            464 Adaway SE
            Ada, MI 49301

Thank you!

We know this is a long Christmas list, and we're excited to see what the Lord will do as we work together to accomplish all that he's put before us. But please know that we don't take your generosity lightly. We are serious about loving Jesus and we know you are too.