During the Christmas holidays many of us feel a nudge to do something nice for others. We buy gifts for those we love. We throw our loose change in a Salvation Army kettle. Some of us even volunteer at soup kitchens, help serve meals at homeless shelters or collect toys for needy kids.
Yet when the Christmas decorations are put away and that warm, fuzzy, holiday feeling subsides, we go back to life as usual. And we save our compassion for the next December.
Some people, however, see compassion as their vocation. They know the mission of Jesus–and His mandate to all of us–is “to preach good news to the poor,” “heal the heartbroken” and “comfort all who mourn” (Is. 61:1-2, The Message). True Christian ministry is not a once-a-year experience.
The people Charisma chose to honor this year in our annual “Unsung Heroes” issue didn’t become involved in ministry so they could be seen. Some of them have been helping the poor for more than 20 years without any recognition. They never expected to be featured in a national magazine. But because they are shining examples of selfless sacrifice, we believe they deserve our encouragement and support.
The ministries we chose to highlight are unique. Providing groceries to Navajo families. Turning a bus into a church to reach the homeless. Building a church for wheelchair-bound elderly people. Hosting a Bible study for prostitutes.
This special issue of Charisma is our Christmas card to you. Please allow these stories to inspire you to make God’s love more than a once-a-year event.