by Joy Casey
Life-size nativity scene at the Mormon Temple Light Show on Christmas Eve, Kensington, Maryland
Farm animals are always a part of the nativity scene, and in my mind there are always sweet, peaceful sheep gazing lovingly at the baby.

I wonder if the shepherds actually brought sheep with them into Bethlehem like my nativity set implies. I bet they didn’t. I bet one shepherd stayed behind and sheep-sat while the others followed the star (too bad for the one who drew the short straw). But I know there had to be sheep, so maybe the inn keeper sheltered next day’s dinner in the barn with Mary and Joseph. Either way, it illustrates the need for sheep to be closely watched or put indoors at night.
Since returning from Dembidollo recently, I have had sheep on the mind. I visited families living in the beautiful green countryside who have ideal locations to raise and breed sheep. The only thing lacking is a shelter for the sheep at night so the hyenas won’t get them. The potential sheep breeders need to build a sheep shed, but I promised three shepherds that our Gift Catalog would provide the sheep. I knew we had about 26 sheep donated, and I was so happy to give them away!

But this is my problem: We have four more entrepreneurs who also live in an area with good grazing and water and would like to raise livestock to earn a living. We need more sheep! Would you consider helping a very poor family get on their feet by gifting them a sheep? We honestly could use about 30 more sheep!
Our goal in Ethiopia is to provide a hand-up out of poverty by imparting vision, training and loans to start a small business that has the potential to generate enough money to support a family. Dembidollo is a rural area where livestock and agricultural projects make the most sense.

I just bought my big sis a sheep for Christmas and I fervently hope she buys one for me, too!  Join me in giving a truly life-giving gift in the name of a friend or relative (who has absolutely everything anyway). You won’t even need a shed or have to feed it!

Visit our Gift Catalog webpage to purchase a sheep or a whole host of other much-needed items for those we serve in Ethiopia!