USA (MNN) — The last weeks of summer are drawing to a close in the United States. Is it too early to think about Christmas? Wycliffe USA’s Melissa Stillman says “no.”
Her team members “deck the halls” and enjoy holiday treats while they work on Wycliffe’s annual Christmas gift catalog. “In August, we’ll be in full swing with gift catalog production: going over the design, choosing cover art, working with the field to make sure every detail is correct,” Stillman says.
The gift catalog is a “labor of love” for Stillman and her team. “It’s our biggest project of the year since it takes six months, but it’s also one of our favorites,” she says.
Each year, Wycliffe USA’s gift catalog puts top Bible translation needs in front of believers who want to make a difference.
Creativity blossoms as Christ-followers pool their resources to bless communities in need. “We’ve seen churches [put] ornaments on a Christmas tree in the lobby, and that’s a reminder to give to a project they’ve selected out of the gift catalog,” Stillman says, describing how some believers put the gift catalog to use.
“[One] work team wanted to have a party, and instead of doing a ‘white elephant’ or some kind of gift exchange, they decided to each give towards the Wycliffe USA gift catalog.”
‘Tis the season for Bible translation
You can preorder a physical copy of Wycliffe USA’s 2021 gift catalog in early October. Just send your request to [email protected], Stillman says. Check out last year’s projects here. “Some people get into shopping early, so we love to have it out in October,” she says.
“This catalog is a way for families to make a special gift together or to make an alternative Christmas gift.”
The concept may seem simple, but putting this catalog together requires a lot of prayer and effort. “At the beginning, there are about 200 possible projects on our list,” Stillman says.
“We ask the Holy Spirit to guide which projects make it through to the next level of review. There are so many great stories; it’s really hard to choose!”
After two rounds of review, Stillman and her team narrowed the options to 32 projects in six categories. “This year’s catalog will include projects that benefit children; audio-visual projects with partners like the Jesus Film Project; and projects where the Scriptures are being introduced in a community for the very first time,” she says.
“We have so many projects that we’re not able to get them all into the print piece. So, there will be some online-exclusive projects this year.”
Don’t forget to pray
Pray for creativity as Stillman and her team put the catalog’s reply device together. Pray for harmony and effective communication as believers work together across departments.
Pray the Lord will use this gift catalog to raise critical support for Bible translation projects.
“Each of the featured projects represents a group of people who are experiencing the same pandemic health, social, and economic challenges that we are, all without the comfort of God’s Word in language and form that they can truly understand,” Stillman says.
“A gift to the gift catalog helps reach those who are waiting for the words of hope and peace that we’ve leaned on daily for guidance.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of freestocks/Unsplash.