Since June 1988, Radio Jamaica has aired Wonderful Words of Life each week. We in the USA Southern Territory express gratitude to God for the opportunity of this 27-year partnership in broadcast evangelism with the Caribbean Territory. The program is one of our Salvation Soundcast network of four programs, two in English and two in Spanish. Wonderful Words of Life and Maravillosas Palabras de Vida are 15-minute weekly programs delivering relevant Christian teaching, inspiring conversation, and great music from Salvation Army artists. Heartbeat and Latido are 1-minute programs packed with Christian insights on contemporary life issues. Click here to watch a short video about these programs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tca0uvxPNgk. More information is available online; just click this link to our website: http://www.southernspiritonline.org/soundcast/.
To you from us with love
Christmas is nearing and after weeks of
intensive 'kettling', the Havendale Corps is happy to be able to give food
parcels to 300 People. After singing carols and sharing the Bible story
together, the Captain and his little team ensures that all the people who have
been carefully registered and come with their tickets are given their parcels.
There is no pushing or impatience, but an atmosphere of trust and good. Before
the Territorial Commander begins handing out the parcels, he encourages
everyone to see the parcel as a sign of love and a sign of hope:
though this is not silver or gold but just a small, practical gift of food, we
want, by this gift, to say to you: We, The Salvation Army, care for you. ....
also want you to remember that a huge
part of the population is behind this. Each person who has put money in our
kettles this year again, each business company that has donated goods to The
Salvation Army or people who have contributed in other ways are thereby saying
to you: We also care about you! "
One by one the recipients come to receive
their parcel, a handshake, a hug and
some personal words from the Captain
Ms.Cheryl James, the past year has had its ups and
downs but is truly thankful that the
Lord has kept her through the year to see another Christmas. She sees Christmas
as "a time to remember Christ and try to make up for the bad things by
being nice and helpful." She acknowledges that "We are very
materialistic and that the Lord gives different things than what we as humans
count. The exchange and showing of love is important". Despite her being homeless and separated by
distance from her daughter, she is
looking forward to eating, cooking, going to church with family as she stays
with nieces and nephews. The hope and
prayer for 2016 is, by God's help, to get a room. Ms. Cheryl has come to pick up the parcel
from The Salvation Army together with her little nephew.
Garden is looking forward to celebrating Christmas
with her husband and 5 children. They will go to church, they will sing
together and read the Bible. They are grateful for all the blessings of God and
used to looking for the joys that do not cost money. Both the husband and the two eldest children
are looking for work, but apart from the odd jobs from time to time have no
income, so the children understand very well that there will be no Christmas
presents. They are grateful for the food parcel from the Salvation Army. With
two children going to school and the latest baby, little Mathilde, still at the breast, there could be enough
cause for concern. But they choose not
to worry but hope and trust in God, knowing that so many others are in the same
situation. The biggest wish for
Christmas and the new year is the job
that can offer them the possibilities of a better life.
Thenstead is living together with her 5-year old
granddaughter who goes to The Salvation Army basic school. She acknowledges that she finds it hard to
provide for her grandchild and is grateful for any help she can get. She gives thanks and is appreciative, not only
for the food parcel, but also for the support from the school. "Whenever I
have problems, I can sit and have a talk with Captain Sandra", she says.
Christmas message from the
How I wish that every child on earth would
receive a Christmas present this year, a
gift that really would bring joy and make them feel loved. Unfortunately this wish will not come true.
Many children will be sad and disappointed because they did not get anything
and others, even though they receive gifts, will doubt whether anybody really
cares for them.
The Salvation Army in the Caribbean would
like each and everybody to know that someone cares, God cares for them, and so
do we. As I am writing thi post, the
Christmas kettling is still going on around our islands and divisions, and food
hampers, small gifts, parcels are being wrapped and distributed to thousands of
is behind a gift?
There seem to be many different reasons for
people to give gifts:
to show attention: I am thinking of you
to ask for attention: I want you to remember me
obligation: I have to, it is expected of me,
and it would look bad if I didn't.
or even corruption: I want something in return, a favour
When people this Christmas will be receiving a parcel or little gift, what
lies behind it, what are we trying to say by this gesture?
expression of gratitude - If we have enough
to eat every day, we would like to share
cheer - It is the time for giving
and compassion - How we would like to see
a world of justice and equality
Even though this is not silver or gold but
just a small, practical gift of food, we want, by this gift, to say to each
receiver: We, The Salvation Army, care
for you. We acknowledge that life can be hard and we know that many are
struggling financially and in other ways, day in and day out, all year round.
We want you to know that you are not alone, you are not forgotten.
We also want you to recognize that a huge part of the population is behind
this. Each person who has put money in our kettles this year again, each
business company that has donated goods to The Salvation Army or people who
have contributed in other ways are thereby saying: We also care. We want to share something of what we have. Thank you to you all!
Just as we wish each parcel to be a small
token of love, may it also come with a message of hope. We believe that the
love of God that came to earth in Jesus is the greatest Christmas gift ever. It
is the deepest desire of our hearts and a great cause for hope. In Jesus, we receive what the Bible calls 'fullness
of life' or 'life in abundance'.
Listen what this Salvation Army song says:
When Christ drew near to dwell
with men and bear with man His earthly lot,
He brought the knowledge of the
Lord to sinful hearts which knew Him not.
....When Christ draws near his
own today, the fullness of his power to give,
The Holy Spirit makes Him known
and by His life we all may live.
What is it that we really need in order to
have hope for days to come?
to know that we are loved and have eternal value... so much so that God
chose to give his only son for us.
We need to know that there is meaning and
purpose in our lives.
We need the inner strength to overcome the
storms of life and the obstacles on our journey.
We need the joy and peace that do not come
from circumstances around us but only from the relationship with our heavenly
Christmas is coming, but will soon be over
and a new year will begin. What will be left when the celebrations are over and
all the food is eaten? The gift of Jesus
is the gift that goes on, as the following carol reminds us:
The Father gave the Son
Son gave the Spirit
Spirit gives us life
we can give the Gift of love
the Gift goes on....
you love to get a present wrapped up in a Christmas bow
gave each of us a present on that night so long ago
a Gift that keeps on giving if our spirits can receive
the secret joy of living if our hearts can just believe
the Gift goes on...
And the Gift goes on and on and on...
be to God for his indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15)
May the true gift of Christmas fill you and guide you all
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