Alternative Christmas

What gift will you give this year?

Alternative Christmas at Global Ministries is an invitation for all to celebrate and to share globally the best gifts we have received, and the ones we cherish in a special way during the Christmas season.  These are the gifts of HopeJoy, Love, and Peace.  Giving an Alternative Christmas Gift is a meaningful way to honor your loved ones while making a difference in the lives of individuals around the world living in difficult circumstances.  

ac2016.pngTo participate in this sharing of God's abundant life you can give online or by sending a check along with the information form to:

Global Ministries
Office of Resource Development
P.O. Box 1986
Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986

Please indicate the name and address of your honoree(s) and the designation you have chosen. We can either send you a special Global Ministries Christmas card for each person that you give an alternative gift to, or we can send the Christmas card directly to the person(s) with a photo. If you give your gift online, you also have the option of sending an e-card to your honoree(s).  You will receive a receipt for your gift along with a letter of appreciation for your support.

Global Ministries is happy to introduce the Alternative Giving Catalog!  The Alternative Giving Catalog contains the following stories and Alternative Gift ideas  that support the life-giving ministries of global partners in a printed material.  Click here to request your copy today!

Alternative Christmas Special Giving Options

Thanks to the generous support of Our Church's Wider Mission and Disciples Mission Fund, 100 percent of your gift will go towards the stated cause without administrative fees.

Each of your Alternative Christmas gifts can be designated for any of the following themes, or to any other Special Projects on the Global Ministries website, listed under each Mission Area. 

A Gift of general support

Your general support of the work of Global Ministries is critical as it enables every relationship and ministry mentioned on this page.

Whether through the sending and receiving of mission personnel, building global partnerships, providing educational events, or planning pilgrimages to visit the ministries of partners, Global Ministries relies on gifts like yours to make these opportunities possible. Unrestricted gifts allow Global Ministries to provide international expertise and an important pastoral presence, globally engaging the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. Additionally, your gifts are a significant witness in walking with global partners through challenges and joys in all parts of the world.

Global Ministries also connects congregations more closely with international partners through the creation of new and engaging materials. With your support, new curriculums have been created for children, youth and adult groups that lead to a fuller understanding of God’s mission in the world and invites deeper participation. These materials are freely available on the newly redesigned Global Ministries website, which is intentionally partner-focused to connect you directly with the joys and concerns of international partners.

Give this Gift


A Gift to benefit the YWCA of Palestine through the Middle East Initiative

MEwomen.pngDuring the final months of the Middle East Initiative and during the season of Advent, Global Ministries is highlighting global partners in Israel/Palestine. Alternative Christmas Gifts to support the life-giving work of partners in Israel/Palestine are welcome. One option is to honor your loved one this Advent season through giving a Global Ministries Alternative Gift to support the work of YWCA of Palestine.

  • $25 can supply resources for a woman to attend vocational training

  • $75 can empower advocacy programs to promote social, economic, and political rights of women in Palestine

  • $500 can provide a scholarship for a student to attend a leadership training

Learn more about the YWCA of Palestine.

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Give a Themed Gift

gift.png  Peace with Justice
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gift.png   People in Mission
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gift.png   Water
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gift.png   Health
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gift.png   Education
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gift.png   Microcredit
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gift.png   Church Capacity Building
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 Peace with Justice

"They were killing our neighbors.  We had no choice but to flee." 

Ahmed and his family sold every possession they had to buy the first plane tickets out of Iraq when the Islamic state threatened their lives. Now this family of ten is living in a 12x12 room provided by the Syrian Orthodox Church. This family was able to escape the violence because international partners prepared a space to welcome them in.

Ahmed is just one of the tens of millions displaced people globally seeking a place of safety and peace for their family, uncertain when or if life will return to normal. Behind each number there is an individual with a rich history, a web of relationships, and God-given worth. Nobody wants to be a number.

In cases like Ahmed’s, it is not enough for partners to receive refugees without questioning why it is their brothers and sisters have lost their homes and loved ones. Through Global Ministries, we join our voices with those of advocates around the world to promote real solutions to challenges that have affected so many lives.

By working in long-term partnerships, Global Ministries is able to address global challenges in a way that provides both immediate relief and long-term recovery.


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 People in Mission

"Even in the face of a nuclear disaster, we knew Global Ministries would continue walking with us." 

When a tsunami destroyed Sendai, Japan no one asked whether or not Global Ministries missionary Jeffrey Mensendiek was going to flee the disaster with many others from the U.S. and other countries living there. No one asked because they knew Jeffrey was their neighbor, that Sendai was his home, and that he would be with them even in the shadow of nuclear disaster.

As the waters receded, Jeffrey helped the Japanese church organize youth groups who had come to help repair the city. At first, the arriving young people complained that they weren’t working – just sitting and talking. Slowly, though, they came to the realization that more than homes and offices, it was lives that needed to be repaired. It wasn’t their hands that were needed, but their hearts.

For over two centuries, Global Ministries, beginning with its predecessor mission bodies, has sent individuals whose passion for Christ’s Good News and God’s people have served in a mutual sharing of God’s abundant life. Through disasters, dictators, and despair, mission personnel walk together with international partners and communities as they develop ministries that sustain all of God’s creation.

The sending and receiving of mission personnel is essential for Global Ministries. Their presence fosters deep relationships with international partners, and their witness in churches in the U.S. and Canada during their home assignments make connections among congregations like yours.

Global Ministries receives a growing number of requests for mission personnel from international partners. Your special gifts are needed to help Global Ministries send dedicated individuals to walk together in hope with partners.



To learn more about our current people in mission, click here.

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How do you rebuild your community without water?

After being displaced for more than ten years by civil war, residents of Oori, Sri Lanka, returned to their homes only to find that there was no water. Without regular repairs, pumps and pipes had failed throughout the village. The effects spread beyond the basic need for hydration, impacting sanitation, home gardens, and small businesses.

When residents started to question whether the dream they had been holding on to in exile would all be lost, the Church of the American Ceylon Mission helped to restore this most precious resource by providing materials and training.

In many parts of the world, clean safe drinking water is a luxury. Whether due to drought, pollution, or destroyed infrastructure, the search for water is a chore that often removes children from classrooms and parents from their work. When water flows freely, residents are healthier and communities are stronger.

Global Ministries works with international partners to provide clean, safe drinking water with systems that utilize local talent and equipment so that the water solutions can be sustainably maintained.


To learn more about specific partner initiatives for water, click here.

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An illness is one of the greatest threats to families with limited wages.

Whether it is a devastating diagnosis of cancer or something as common as a broken bone or infected scrape, medical problems are a misfortune that few families in developing countries can afford. Sickness not only means costly medications and doctor’s bills, but also means a loss of wages. This can cause the failure of a small family business, an inability to harvest crops, or the necessity of taking a child out of school.

Through the work of local doctors and nurses, hospitals and clinics started by the predecessors of Global Ministries have treated tens of millions of patients, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

This profound legacy, spanning over a century in many places, would not be possible without the thousands of nurses and doctors who were trained through the medical education programs of international partners.

Through scholarships, the procurement of medical equipment, and the sending of medical doctors, Global Ministries affirms this valuable vocation so that communities that have been ignored by the more formal health systems may receive healing.


To learn more about specific partner initiatives in health, click here.

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In the Dominican Republic, homework is a rare privilege.

When tourists in Boca Chica stopped leaving the walled compounds of their all-inclusive resorts, the local economy that had sprung up around the hotels crumbled. Families that invested all that they had into their business suddenly found themselves without customers. Then the hurricanes came and the price of food climbed even higher and children were taken out of the classroom to try and earn a living.

That is when local groups such as Caminante, a Global Ministries partner, stepped in to demand a better future for these children. With a holistic approach that includes homework help, counseling, and advocating for the rights of children in the Dominican Republic, they created a safe environment where children can thrive once again.

For many families a choice has to be made between sending their child to school or sending their child to work. Unfortunately, this decision is not made by the parents, but by their circumstances – often poverty robs parents of the opportunity to give their child a better future.

Global Ministries works with partners to provide practical, affordable education that restores many of the opportunities that poverty has taken away.


To learn more about specific partner initiatives in education, click here.

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When a group of women in Mozambique wanted to provide walls for their church, the men asked, "Where will you women get money?"

The men were simply stating a fact – these women had no income to claim as their own. Nevertheless, this tenacious group rallied around their cause and began making small loans to each other to start several small businesses. After many months, the women pooled together enough resources to accomplish what others had deemed impossible – they provided three of the new walls for their church and challenged the men’s group to provide the fourth wall.

The power of microcredit lies in the belief that many people victimized by poverty are capable of supporting themselves if they have access to the small amount of capital necessary for starting their own business. In most micro-credit projects, groups make loans to individuals, and these loans are repaid with a small amount of interest so that additional funds can be made available to the group.

Global Ministries works with partners who have established micro-credit groups to provide additional seed money so that these opportunities can be extended to a greater number of people.


To learn more about specific partner initiatives in microcredit, click here.

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Church Capacity Building

When missionaries landed on distant shores and started building relationships with local people, they found that God was already there.

God has always been with all of creation, and through congregations, seminaries, and lay training schools, international partners are helping to share the good news of God’s abundant life with all people while developing a vision of God that is faithful both to their lives and to the Gospel.

As the Apostle Paul wrote, each part of the body of Christ has an important role to play, and when our brothers and sisters are not included, we find our own faith incomplete. International partners have been very active in strengthening this body. In Fiji, seminaries are helping people to see the connection between their traditional beliefs and the responsibility of creation care. In China, the world’s largest Bible printer is producing more than 10 million Bibles annually in dozens of languages that will benefit Christians in Southern Asia, South America and in many parts of Africa.

Through the sending of staff to assist in theological education, ministry sponsorship, and support for rebuilding congregations, Global Ministries works with hundreds of partners in strengthening the body of Christ. 


To learn more about specific partner initiatives in church capacity building, click here.

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Thank you for your interest in Alternative Giving this Christmas!  If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Resource Development by calling 317-713-2571 or by emailing 

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  • published this page in Get Involved 2016-10-06 16:14:16 -0400
  • commented 2015-11-24 10:03:53 -0500
    Great ways to share Christmas joy!