Christmas is coming soon, along with all the associated busyness, decorating, shopping and spending. It’s easy to lose our focus and miss out on the greatest miracle of the season: almighty God became a baby and entered into our sinful and broken world in order to reach us with His love! Join us this year as we REFOCUS our Christmas on this greatest of all miracles.
Advent Revolution is TFUMC’s attempt to celebrate Christmas in a way that truly honors Jesus. While the world around us grows increasingly more commercialized and consumer-oriented, we choose something different. What if we refused to get caught up in the holiday frenzy and truly worshipped Jesus? What if we focused on His presence, not our presents?
For the last 11 years we have been spending less on ourselves each Christmas in order to bless others and honor Jesus on his birthday. Over the years, this refocusing has resulted in 8 homes for orphans, a co-op for widows, feeding programs, 2 new churches, and other exciting projects funded in Thomasville, Rwanda, China and Pakistan.
Our goal this year is to give $30,000 to fund two exciting projects:
1) Build a ropes course for the kids at the Vashti Center — our local ministry to at-risk kids. A ropes course is a powerful tool that can be used to build confidence, develop trust, deepen relationships and teach problem-solving skills, not only for the residential kids, but also for the families in Vashti’s community ministry and local youth groups.
2) Continued support of the feeding program for 300 hungry children on Ishwa Island in Rwanda. Since TFUMC launched this Advent Revolution project in 2015, our partner, World Help, has gradually been securing additional support from others for the ongoing continuation of this feeding program. A little more support from us this year will help them reach that goal.
- Commit to a Jesus-focused Christmas. Give him more attention than the loud voices of consumerism.
- Give time to those you love. Your presence is more valuable than your presents.
- Look for opportunities to serve those who are forgotten during the holidays such as working our Food Bank Christmas parties, baking a cake for our Christmas Prison Ministry, etc.
- Agree as a family to spend at least $50 less per person on gifts you don’t need. Let’s put that together so we can bless others. Make your check’s payable to TFUMC with “advent revolution” in the memo.
- Drop your contribution in the offering plate or bring to the Office by December 22 so we can celebrate our goal being met when we gather on Christmas Eve
Christmas 2008 – After our second year of Advent Revolution we raised enough funds to build four additional homes housing 16 orphans at Star School in Rwanda. Plus we had other churches from Georgia, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania join us in the revolution.
Christmas 2009 – For our third year of Advent Revolution we raised money to build a water well at Star School so the 500 students there will have access to clean drinking water. This year, while giving globally, we also encouraged each of our church members to serve locally, giving them specific opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ in our own community this Christmas. This included hosting 11 Christmas parties for almost 1000 clients at the local food bank.
Christmas 2010 — Advent Revolution focused on two projects this year. We built a roof on the Church of the Blessed Mango Tree which has literally risen from the ashes after the 1994 genocide and is now one of our ministry partners serving the poorest of the poor in Rwanda, including many children they have brought in from the streets and introduced to Jesus. The other half of what we collected provided scholarship money to help the children in our Homes of Hope to complete their education.
Christmas 2011 — This year, Advent Revolution had both a local and a global component. In addition to providing more scholarship aid so that the children in our Rwandan Homes of Hope could finish their education, we also be funded the start of a new ministry in Thomasville, GA. The Back Pack Buddies Foundation was established to help other area churches feed hungry children in our community whose primary source of nutrition is the school cafeteria.
Christmas 2012 — Once again, Advent Revolution had both a global and a local component. In Rwanda, we funded the establishment of a Widow’s Co-op so the poor widows at The Church of the Blessed Mango Tree could receive vocational training and then get micro-loans to start their own small businesses. In Thomasville, we funded the make-over of the Rec Room at Vashti Children’s Home, as a warm and friendly place where abused and neglected children could spend time with their mentors.
Christmas 2013 — The Bugarama Valley is one of the neediest areas of Rwanda, sometimes called the forgotten district. This year we provided building materials for a congregation to build a new church which will serve as a hub of outreach and training for the whole valley. The church members built the church themselves. We also provided building materials for the Thomasville Rescue Mission, our local soup kitchen, to move to and renovate it’s new location near First Methodist.
Christmas 2014 — We took on three great projects: 1) We provided all of the equipment, beds and supplies to open the maternity ward at the Anglican Clinic in Cyangugu, Rwanda. 2) We funded the Mustard Seed Project – a coalition of Chinese church leaders joining together to send missionaries into some of the most unreached parts of the Muslim world. 3) We funded the Back Pack Buddy Foundation’s first ever summer feeding program for hungry children right here in our own community.
Christmas 2015 — This year we established a feeding program for 500 hungry children on Ishwa Island, located in Lake Kivu between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.