By Abigail Jennerson
You may be wondering what handmade Christmas cards, fried banana chips, crafted jewelry, car washing, and a garage sale all have in common...
These were all the ways our NextGen team and ZOE kids worked hard to raise money since JULY of this year!
Six months ago, our NextGen team sat down with the ZOE kids and cast vision for how we could be a blessing this Christmas. Let’s be honest, we LOVE blessing our ZOE kids during the Christmas season each year! And NextGen usually does outreaches to other children’s homes each Christmas! But this year we wanted to reach higher and do bigger when it came to blessing others.
The plan was to invite another children’s home to Chiang Mai for a BIG Christmas celebration! 45 kids and their caregivers staying at ZOE for two nights and three days! We would get their Christmas wish lists and bless their socks off!
We were hard at work to reach our goal; our kids filled with such determination and excitement to give the gift of Christmas to other children! After almost 6 months of fundraising, we raised enough money to DOUBLE the amount for each child’s Christmas gift! Our ZOE kids made sure they purchased everything on their buddy’s list, and if the money we raised wasn’t enough, our ZOE kids even used some of their own! Watching our kids work so hard and give so generously and try to wrap the presents was precious–especially our teenage boys!
And then the children arrived! We worshipped together, ate together, played games together! It was the first time we’ve ever had guests spend the night in our home! The next day we sent them off to the Chiang Mai Zoo. But when they returned Friday night, the main event really began! We started off the night talking about how Jesus is the greatest gift we will ever receive! That no matter what Christmas looks like, we know that HE is the reason for the celebration. After taking a quick snack break, we opened gifts and had the messiest Christmas party ever!
Everyone was wearing smiles, especially our ZOE kids. It really is better to give than to receive. We hope our ZOE kids were able to experience that truth.