Mike Mercer, President/CEO
I pray that you are well as we turn the corner toward Christmas. I further pray that these times only prove to bring your family closer together than ever before – that we find ourselves more “together” as we’re gathered around dining room tables, Christmas trees, and traditions better than we have ever known in the past. I pray we find a gift in all of this that is greater than anything that we knew to ask for.
For the last several years, as the season changes, my thoughts have gone to Mary. We celebrate the birth of Christ in such a grand way, but I think the full effect of her personal story gets a little lost. She had to go away for the evident parts of her pregnancy. She then had to journey at the height of it, only to give birth in obscurity in a harsh environment with none of the familiarity of family or home to ease her through the birthing process. In fact, it was likely the better situation for her family that she was away when it all took place. I have to believe, in most corners of Mary’s family, Jesus was an unwanted pregnancy – certainly, an unplanned one.
For me, it speaks to the pure gift of being “Home for Christmas.” It’s not just a tradition, it’s a yearning in our hearts – a pilgrimage established by God bringing us back to rejoin or further nurture our most important relationships and celebrate our growing families. There is no greater time of the year.
Each year we have reached out to our supporters to partner in our Christmas campaign. We have always done so with a heart toward expansion – the birthing of something new. Frankly, it has been one of the most humbling and life-giving parts of our story. This year, we do the same with plans to fully expand our work into Bali.
Bali is a “manger scene” for us in that it will be the most difficult environment that we have worked in to date. “Home for Christmas” is not an accidental theme; Bali is the destination end of a pipeline where the majority of all underage girls are being trafficked from East Java, a province where we have worked now for several years. Our task, challenged by an economy of both corruption and demand, is to return girls home.
Year-end giving is a careful consideration, especially in such difficult times. We would be truly humbled and grateful if you would consider including us in your giving this year. To learn more about how your gift will be used and to make a donation, visit cfchristmas.org. If you have any questions or need anything from us, whether concerning this offering or otherwise, please reach out.
In the meantime, may God truly bless you in this season, bringing a sense of hope and renewal as you continue to serve so faithfully.
President, Compassion First
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