Remember the Cows!

By Charlotte Long 

Today, Pastor Heath and I were chatting about the general fuzzy feeling of Advent: how the waiting is our favorite time of year; how the tradition of Advent and waiting for Jesus to be born make us feel. The only quirk of the season is that often this quiet, pious waiting can turn a little... sleepy. When, really, Jesus and the prophets call us to be READY - to be awake. Because our celebration of Jesus' birth is also a celebration of when he comes again. And as I used to hear in Sunday school as a little girl - who knows when that will be??/ Being awake and ready for Jesus is about imbuing each action with readiness, as if that action were your final gift for the baby in the manger.

And that's why I'm plugging Heifer Project International again. Because this is the "ready and awake" action that our 13 and 14-year-olds are attending to in this waiting season of Advent.

A reminder: HPI is a non-profit charity dedicated to empowering communities worldwide and trying to address the problems of global hunger, while respecting the communities' natural rhythms, cultures and traditions. For HPI, this means not donating money or food, but livestock (animals) and seedlings, workshops and classes. A family in need, in any of the 125 countries HPI serves, receives a living animal that can benefit them for the rest of their lives: a goat, a cow, a chicken, fish, a guinea pig (feel free to ask certain members of our Junior High how a family can use a guinea pig to feed their family for years!). And then comes the really beautiful part, a cornerstone of Heifer Project that they call "Passing on the Gift." That family must give the first offspring of their animal to another member of the community in need. And that family must do the same. And so on, until the entire community is benefiting from that original animal. In the meantime, HPI provides workshops on how to care for that animal in the most energy- efficient, cost-effective way, so that taking care of the animal provides income instead of sapping it.

Our very own 7th and 8th graders will assist us this Holiday season in helping end global hunger! Look for their announcements in the next few weeks and a table in between the 9AM and 11:15AM services on the Sundays of December 8th and 15th where you can purchase HPI animals and dedicate them to someone you love!

I'm so excited to raise money for this organization, I'm crying with preemptive pride for our youth!!