Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This Christmas – buy once, gift twice

WMF Bolivia

An idea has been rumbling around in the back of my mind for a while, and a few days ago it burst forth with a rare degree of creative clarity. I had been thinking about offering to sign and mail copies of “The Story of God, the Story of Us” to people who were looking for Christmas gifts for friends, family, teachers, pastors etc.

Then our friend Andrea Baker stopped by to visit a couple of weeks ago. Andrea and her husband Andy are field directors for Word Made Flesh in Bolivia. For the past decade they have worked alongside their friends on the streets in El Alto, and offered alternatives to women caught up in the sex industry. The cost of living has more than tripled during that time, and their regular support is no longer adequate for the work they are doing, let alone to further develop the business that is helping their friends get off the streets. Andrea was in the States to receive an award for her work with the least of these, recognition of the kind of service that is the heartbeat of Word Made Flesh, whose staff embody the Story of God.

So here’s my idea.

In the season when we prepare for the mystery of the Word made flesh (John 1:14), we want to give you an opportunity to give two gifts at the same time. We have bought a bunch of copies of the book from our publisher. Gift #1: I would love to sign and mail books out to those of you looking for Christmas gift ideas. We’re asking a minimum of $20 per book (incl. shipping). Here’s why. Gift #2: We will give all the net proceeds to Word Made Flesh Bolivia, and Rebecca and I will match the first $500 raised.

This is how it works:

1. Email me at sean.gladding@gmail.com with the number of books you’d like, the names of the recipients, and the address you’d like me to ship them to.

2. I’ll reply and let you know where to send the check. Once I receive your check, I’ll mail your books!

3. Final date for shipping is December 15th. After that, we’ll send a check for the total amount raised to WMF.

Thanks for helping us support the work of Word Made Flesh Bolivia this Christmas.

(An FYI. The executive directors of WMF, Chris and Phileena Heuertz have written books about life and mission that are well worth reading: Friendship at the Margins, Simple Spirituality and Pilgrimage of a Soul)