Christmas in August

Christmas in August Update

As a kid, Christmas Eve was a day I looked forward to all year long! Christmas Eve was when Santa would stop by our house and bring us presents. Every year, I was so excited about what was to come that I’d voluntarily put myself to bed extra early with hopes that the morning would come sooner. I would not sleep under the covers on Christmas Eve. You see, my mother had a rule that we could not leave our rooms each morning (including Christmas morning) until our beds were made. So, on Christmas Eve I would sleep (if I slept at all) on top of the covers so that I could prevent the 2–3-minute delay of getting to my presents!

I often wonder if that’s how Christmas in August missionaries feel as they approach WMU’s focus on their ministries. Are they excited? Curious about what to expect? A little concerned about how many RAs, GAs, or CAs might give in support of their work? More than likely, there’s a mix of emotions going through their minds as they wait for Christmas in August to roll around.

Are you familiar with Christmas in August? A little history might be good at this point.

It’s Christmas . . . in August!

Christmas in August—yes, that’s right! No need to wait until December to celebrate. You can get in the spirit of giving right in the middle of summer.

Christmas in August allows members of all age-level WMU organizations, entire churches, and even associations the opportunity to be involved in mission support through providing needed items for North American missionaries.

Cindy Skelton, Girls in Action leader at St. Andrews Baptist Church, Columbia, South Carolina, shared that her GAs choose a missionary for whom they will bring gifts. In September, they have a meeting where they sing Christmas carols, make an ornament to remind them to pray for the missionary, and enjoy Christmas cookies. If possible, they invite the missionary to come to receive the gifts and share about his or her ministry during the meeting.

Praying for Christmas in August Missionaries

Christmas in August package

Christmas in August is a wonderful way to involve preschoolers in supporting missions by giving ministry supplies requested from a North American missionary. This is also a great opportunity to support Christmas in August missionaries through prayer. As your Mission Friends® collect the items needed, lead them in praying for the missionary and the ministries in which the items will be used.

Christmas in August gifts create 'pathway to sharing the gospel'

Kathy Parsons with daily delivery of items from donated through Christmas in August

Do you ever wonder if Christmas in August matters to missionaries and church planters? Just ask David and Kathy Parsons who serve as missionaries through the North American Mission Board in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They were recipients of Christmas in August gifts in 2016.

“The Christmas in August items sent to us expanded our vision and gave us resources we did not have,” David shared. “This program caused us to humbly stop and see how God works and that He has used others across America to provide for our needs.” 

For 90 years, members of WMU missions organizations such as GA, RA, and Acteens have purchased and sent items to NAMB missionaries to help advance their outreach efforts.

David and Kathy provided WMU with a list of items they needed and soon received 20 to 30 boxes a day, with around 500 boxes received in total.

“We received the boxes on our front porch and I would bring them into the living room to stage for delivery,” he reflected.

Planning for Christmas in August

Christmas in August

How do you involve your Mission Friends® in Christmas in August®? This annual campaign gives you a unique opportunity to inspire your preschoolers and their families to join in giving to and praying for missionaries. Through their Christmas in August gifts, preschoolers experience the joy of partnering with missionaries who are sharing God’s love through North America.

Take these steps now to begin planning for Christmas in August at your church:

Choose a Missionary

Begin planning for Christmas in August with prayer. Ask the Lord to guide you in choosing the missionary your Missions Friends will support. After you pray, take the following steps:

  • Read through the list of Christmas in August missionaries on pages 44 and 45 in Summer 2017 Mission Friends Leader, or review the list online.

Christmas in August: Children

Boy holding present

During the month of August, children collect gifts for a select group of North American missionaries to give them Christmas in August. The missionaries use these items to replenish ministry supplies, purchase items for ministry centers, and minister to people in their communities who need to hear about Jesus.

Follow these steps to help the children in your church get involved in Christmas in August 2017:

1. Select a missionary or missionaries from the list. Remember that all of these missionaries are looking forward to receiving gifts from GA, RA, and CA groups.

2. Send a copy of the August “Family Missions Focus” home with each child. Include a list of the items your group is collecting for Christmas in August 2017.

3. Gather and pack the items your group collects. Consider placing items that could leak inside ziplock bags. Do not wrap the items. Include only the items requested. Include only new items. Pray together that God will use the items to help people learn about Jesus.

Christmas in August: Students

Ornaments in Sand

Through Christmas in August you can directly help a North American missionary with items needed for ministry and outreach.

Christmas in August is a program sponsored by WMU and the North American Mission Board. It allows members of WMU organizations to participate in the work of North American missionaries by supplying them with items needed in large quantities in their ministries.


2017 Christmas in August Missionaries

 

Travis and Rebecca Rymer
Collegiate/University Missionary (MSC)
Grace Harbor Church
47 Fenner Street
Providence, RI 02903
trymer2@gmail.com
graceharbor.net

Street Address (for packages)
Travis Rymer
10 Tobey Street
Providence, RI 02909

Christmas in August

Christmas in August is a way your small group can directly help a North American missionary with items needed for ministry and outreach. The North American Mission Board and national WMU partner in choosing the missionaries who then provide a list of items they wish to receive. Missions groups gather the requested items and send them to the missionaries. 

The missionaries expressed gratitude for your support when they sent their requests. They are excited about receiving these items!

 

How did it begin?
Started in 1927 by a group in Charlottesville, Virginia, Christmas in August has grown to be a national ministry each year. Read more of the history...

 

How can my group participate?
Pray, choose a missionary (or a few), gather your supplies, mail your packages, and pray for how your items will be used. 

2017 Mission Friends Christmas in August

Christmas in August

1. Select one missionary from the list.

2. Send home a note encouraging families to participate with their child. A note you can fill in is at wmu.com/preschool on the Free Downloads page. List items the missionary requests. Remind parents that all gifts should be new.

3. Leave the gifts unwrapped.

4. Send only the items requested because storage can be a problem.

5. If Mission Friends® make cards for the missionary, remind them that they may not hear back from that person because it takes the missionaries lots of time and costs money to write and mail notes to all the churches who send gifts.

The missionaries expressed gratitude for your support when they sent their requests. They are excited about receiving these items.

Christmas in August: Preschool

Little girl in front of christmas tree

Involve preschoolers in sharing with others through Christmas in August. Encourage preschoolers to bring items listed below for a North American missionary to be used within his or her ministry.

  1. Select one missionary from the list.
  2. Send home a note encouraging families to participate with their child. List items the missionary requests. Remind parents all gifts should be new. A note you can download, fill in, and send home is in Free Downloads for Mission Friends.
  3. Leave the gifts unwrapped.
  4. Send only the items requested because storage can be a problem.
  5. If Mission Friends make cards for the missionary, remind them they may not hear back from that person because it takes the missionaries lots of time and costs money to write and mail notes to all the churches who send gifts.

Missionaries for Christmas in August are chosen by the North American Mission Board, and the missionaries list the items they wish to receive. Today, stories abound from grateful missionaries who acknowledge that the impact of these gifts will perhaps not be known until eternity.

 

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