I remember years ago—when my daughters were much younger—the excitement that would build in the days leading up to Christmas. A sense of anticipation filled the house, and I loved how their eyes grew wide with excitement as they finally got to tear into their presents on Christmas morning.
In many cultures, the celebration of Christmas is primarily marked by gift-giving. Researchers tells us that U.S. shoppers will, on average, spend $929 on gifts this holiday season. Some people spend months saving for, planning, and finally purchasing that “perfect” gift for their loved ones. But no gift bought in a store compares to the truly perfect gift of Christ in a manger.
The commercialization of Christmas is on the rise. Each year, companies invest substantial resources to promote the holiday season and push their offerings – which has actually benefitted Kingdom work.
Global interest in holiday festivities means opportunities to present people with the Gospel – the true story of Christmas. OneHope’s global Christmas outreaches have grown exponentially over the years. Five years ago, we distributed a little over 500,000 copies of our Christmas-edition Book of Hope throughout the Asia Pacific region. This year we will give out more than 5 million!
I have always known that Christmas is an important season for ministry, but these numbers remind me just how wide open the door is for sharing the Good News because of the importance every country around the world places on this holiday.
All told, OneHope will reach more than 6.4 million young people through global Christmas outreaches this year. Each one of these millions is a child with a story, with hopes and dreams, just like my own daughters. I am praying that these young people will have powerful encounters with God’s Word as they learn how Christ, the greatest gift to humanity, arrived to the world.