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Christmas in July Miles Away!
Christmas in July comes to The Absecon United Methodist Church every summer as our congregation provides over 800+ Christmas bags to the children of Chichicastenago and surrounding villages for the annual Christmas Party at ASELSI.
Bags are distributed and then filled by families from our congregation who embrace the idea of serving others. Even more bags are filled as donations of little toys, soap, shampoo, tooth paste and brushes, stuffed animals, crayons and coloring pages, and more come in to give to our Christmas in July Project. Several nights over August, teams of people come and share in the joy of filling these bags and fellowship with each other.
Then the Christmas bags are boxed up and prepared for mailing in early September. Several men from our congregation take them to the local post office and the boxes are shipped to Guatemala to arrive in time for the Christmas party.
This mission opportunity touches so many in our congregation who continue to support ASELSI and may even become a part of our mission team that ministers at ASELSI annually.
For the past ten years, a team from the Absecon Methodist Church has ventured into the mountainous region of Guatemala to partner with the ASELSI Mission to serve the Mayan Indians and the people of Guatemala.
We are considered by ASELSI as a construction team, which also provides a form of evangelism communication to the wonderful people of Guatemala. A normal day begins about 5:30am in the morning and ends at about 9:00 at night to a thankful bed and is chocked full of many opportunities to serve others. Our construction projects have included the building of concrete walls for the new clinic, the repair of a road leading up the mountain to ASELSI, putting roofs on houses and constructing chicken coops. Another part of our serving is evangelizing to the children and adults. Some of our team heads into a village and provides a Vacation Bible School where 70-80 young children await the smiling faces of our team—the kids now remember our names as we do theirs--after visiting the same church for several years. The construction team will be interrupted sometime during the week to wash the feet of the milk program children. After the washing of the feet, new shoes are placed on these children’s feet and their smiles are just beaming as well as their parents. There is nothing more humbling than washing a child’s feet.
Visiting various families in need in their homes, equipping Chichicastenago’s firemen, and visiting the national hospital, and sharing in a local worship service round out our experiences. Our times at ASELSI bless us over and over again; and Christmas in July blesses our congregation too!
Photos and text by Barb Sabath