Haiti (MNN) — If someone wishes you a Merry Christmas this summer, they’re probably not crazy; they’re just with For Haiti With Love.
For Haiti With Love’s Eva Dehart is already moving forward with the Christmas in August event. She says it’s “a launching pad for a party on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’s birthday with the poorest of the poor in Northern Haiti.”
“We’re going out into the countryside for Christmas this year to a village that hasn’t had this sort of thing before, so it’s an opportunity to introduce the Gospel, to show God’s love, and to share Jesus’s story with children who may or may not have heard it before.”
But why start talking about a December celebration in Haiti right now? Dehart says plans have to get underway as soon as possible if they want to pull off the event.
“Logistically, we have to have enough time to get all our stuff shipped, so we can’t start it in November and have a party in December in Haiti,” Dehart says. “We start shipping two days after the Christmas in August party.”
The party will kick off a collection of gifts for around 500 Haitian children, food for the party, and funds to get everything shipped overseas. It will be held on August 13 in Tampa Bay, Florida at a local church building.
“Guests make a donation for their dinner and they also bring an unwrapped toy to put under the Christmas tree, so it’s the launching for the Christmas party in Haiti, both in gifts and in money,” Dehart says.
Can’t make it to Florida? You can still help launch the project.
“Anybody wanting to share with Christmas this year can do it in the form of donated toys, toiletries, or cash, and we’ll make sure it is spent on food, transportation, or more gifts,” Dehart says. “Sometimes those gifts can be toothbrushes, toothpaste, pretty little things for their hair, washcloths, bath towels – those things are luxury items in Haiti.”
But like the holiday itself, For Haiti With Love’s Christmas party is about more than just gifts. They’ll use the celebration as a chance to minister to Haitian kids via the children’s version of the Jesus Film, a Christmas service, and one-on-one conversations.
“The real emphasis is on Jesus, the fact that it is his birthday, the fact that we celebrate him, and the fact that he provides for us, so they have tangible evidence that he provides for them,” Dehart says.
“The more participation we have from readers and listeners, the bigger and the better the party and the more children we can impact with the Gospel message, and that is what it’s all about.”