Teen forgoes birthday gifts to help others

Jordan with birthday cake.
Jordan Travis chose to forego birthday gifts and asked his friends to donate to World Concern instead.

Jordan Travis invited his friends to join him in celebrating his entrance into the teenage years with a huge game of Bunco for his 13th birthday. But instead of gifts for himself, Jordan asked his friends to help kids and families in need through World Concern, inviting them to make a $5 or $10 donation toward two causes highlighted in the Global Gift Guide: the 44-Cent Cure (deworming medication and vitamin A) and training for pastors of rural churches in Bangladesh, Bolivia and Kenya.

What would inspire a young teen to forego video games, sports equipment and other things most kids his age wish for? According to his parents, it’s the power of God.

“Just wanted you to know that the Holy Spirit, through your ministry, is lighting a fire in the hearts of kids,” wrote Perry and Lisa Travis in a letter accompanying Jordan’s donation.

To know that World Concern is not only transforming the lives of those we serve in poor communities around the world, but also the lives of donors like Jordan is humbling, to say the least. It’s awe-inspiring to hear how God is using this amazing work to impact all ages, from all walks of life, in so many places, near and far.

Jordan and his friends sent $265, which will cure 466 kids from the suffering of intestinal parasites, plus equip a pastor at a rural church with training, Bibles and Sunday school supplies.  This gift will last longer than any “stuff” would, and will spread God’s love to uncountable people who need His touch so desperately.

Thank you, Jordan, for listening to that still, small voice prompting your heart to give. And thank you to all who are making a difference in the lives of the poor this holiday season with meaningful, life-changing gifts.

“They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Acts 2:45

Give A Goat – A Goat Donation Works!

This is Thermogene, a widow in Haiti. Give A Goat and help someone like her. Because someone decided to donate a goat, she has reason to smile.
This is Thermogene, a widow in Haiti. Give A Goat and help someone like her. Because someone decided to donate a goat, she has reason to smile.

Hope for many people has four legs and goes “Maaa!” It is time again to Give A Goat!

I bring this up because it is time once again to consider goats, and to invite them into our lives. I will buy several this year, even though I live in a city, and have nowhere for them to roam. I will buy several as Christmas presents for family, and turn them over to people who desperately need them. Give A Goat! It is truly Humanitarian Aid.

I recently took a trip with World Concern to visit Haiti, a country filled with wonderful people who struggle to eat, learn and find work. Then, last summer, three hurricanes and a tropical storm further ravaged the country.

I met families in Haiti who live on resources that would baffle most people. It is not unusual for someone to stake their livelihoods on a couple of goats, but that is exactly what people I met are forced to do.

I met a sweet grandmother in Haiti named Thermogene who lost everything – EVERYTHING – she owns in the hurricanes, including goats, and she was left without an income. For Thermogene, an income comes from raising a few animals, including goats. And the storm killed every animal.

When I met Thermogene, it was about 100 degrees. I was hot. It was dusty. She was dressed in her best clothes. She was ecstatic. What in the world would make this woman smile so much?

Someone decided to give a goat to her through World Concern’s Global Gift Guide.

Thermogene received two goats from World Concern, and with it she will be able to sell milk and sell the kids, when her goats have babies. People who donated through World Concern also gave her fruit trees.

These are such simple gifts. It is easy to donate – to Give A Goat. To Thermogene and so many others, goats provide life.

Check out goats and the rest of the Global Gift Guide at www.worldconcern.org/ggg