Year end giving in my 40th year of Christian service.

I am not sure how I feel about the heavy traffic of e-mails I get with Christmas greetings mixed with an appeal to me to give money to everyone’s favorite charity.

I admit it is part of the system that has defined “missions” from the American church to the rest of the world and that we have done some good.  This system has made it possible for me to eat, have shelter, and to serve people and support them in Latin America and around the world as they follow Jesus, as his disciples and to sustain this commitment for 40 years.

Sometimes, though, it feels like the system is getting out of hand.  The picture on the right does not apply only to the Roman Catholic hierarchy.  It reflects a growing pattern in Christian charities.  More on that sometime.

On the other hand, the generosity of family and friends is what makes it possible for me, and for so many others to dedicate our creativity, time and energy to our service to others.  That generosity has given me a very special privilege.  For 40 years now, I have been free to give of myself to others, and I have greatly enjoyed the ride.  I don’t plan to stop now.

Finances and charitable giving have been an important part of that experience.  So here is my letter that goes out on December 26 about giving opportunities in Martureo. Martureo is built on generostiy | Hallshighlights.

I believe so much in the opportunity that Martureo represents that I am giving my life to it.  I am pushing back my retirement and rearranged the commitments of my life so I can help.  Young Brazilians have the opportunity to develop a tool that they can use as they follow Christ into the world that He loves and for which he gave his life.  Their efforts will shape the future of global humanity.

Sounds like many well-to-do Americans are seeking to use their wealth along the same path. This article was published this week in the Wall Street Journal:  Charity Accounts Become the Hot Holiday Must-Have.  I think it is great, and hope that some of this generosity can be shared with Brazilians, and others around the world, whose efforts in global mission are increasing.

The story of Jesus has not only captivated my life, it has shaped history (usually for the good, but often hijacked for the fame and fortune of people who think God can be co-opted for their own self-promotion).    Our Christmas letter  is a celebration of the story of Jesus, a story that we are all affected by.

The Christmas greeting I prefer to give, is about the unfolding story of Jesus and his followers.  As I greet you, and I also pray for God to provide for all that I need in 2017 and all that Martureo could use so that I can participate with them in the next steps as the story of the birth of Jesus, and his life point forward to the “fullness of blessing”, as He intends.

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