Two years ago, Kristan Smith traveled to Ethiopia with a friend, Heather Mitchell, who was adopting a little girl through our YWAM/CHI program. When she got back home, she shared with her six children (ages 6-15) how differently kids in that poverty-stricken country live. No toys. No new clothes. Very little of anything American kids consider to be normal life necessities. Their joy just doesn’t come from ‘stuff.’

The Smiths have been intentionally scaling back on Christmas gifts for a while but this year, the children have decided to give up all of their Christmas gifts and instead, to give to children in Ethiopia who really NEED something.

The kids spent time pouring over our YWAM Gift Catalog, talking about what things kids in Ethiopia might need the very most. Food, for sure. Clean water. Formula for babies. And Bibles! They carefully figured out how they wanted to spend the $325 they’d been given for Christmas and placed their order.

So there won’t be any gifts under the Smith’s Christmas tree this year. But for Symone, Alona, Camille, Gabby, Josiah and Kerah, Christmas will be FULL of the joy of giving to children and families who are in great need. A big THANK YOU to the Smith kids! I only wish they could be the ones to see how gratefully these necessities are received.

Would you like to give a Christmas gift from our 2011-2012 Gift Catalog? There are lots of ways, big and small, that you can make a real difference in the life of a child or family in Ethiopia.