It is that beautiful time of year again, celebrating the birth of our Savior. At this time of year I reflect back on some of Jacob’s thoughts and actions as a child. At this time of year he would always ask “will so and so get a present and be included in a Christmas dinner or would that person have enough food or clothes for winter.” At a young age he seemed concerned for others welfare and where they would spend eternity. Of course he was also a naturally ornery boy with the biggest smile and twinkle in his eye. It’s hard to believe it has been 16 years since Jacob went to his heavenly home, and Jacob’s Gift was formed. We pray that us as a board will follow those same concerns and have a passion for people and their physical and eternal welfare.
Here are some of the fruits from those passions late last year and this year:
In December 2014, we were able to give $3,000 toward the Hadassah Birth Center in Kenya, Africa. This is thru Tom and Hellen Malande, missionary leaders of Family Impact Ministries that have also built Jacob’s Gift Library. This will be a great help for the mothers and babies because of the high maternal mortality rate. The primary causes are HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, anemia, postpartum hemorrhage, and sepsis. Most of these pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Services at the Birth Center will include focused prenatal care including preventive care for serious diseases such as malaria and anemia.
In February 2015, Richard was able to go to the Aetas Bible Study Center, Zambales, Philippines with Wilson and Cora Ladringan. Richard went with a team of men to share carpentry skills and welding with Aeta Pastors and Youth as well as encouraging the Aeta children and staff in the Aeta Children’s Home. This is where several years ago we were able to build a girls dormitory for the home. While on Richard’s visit he stayed in this dormitory with the other team members. He was excited to meet everyone at this home and see the progress made over the years. After Richard got back to the states, he brought to the board the need of a larger transformer to supply the needs of the camp. We were able to send $3,113 in April to purchase this piece of equipment for them. Some of the children in the camp are orphans, some have only one parent and some come from families unable to care for them. They receive their education; they have good food and a place to sleep along with hearing and living the words of Christ.
In April 2015, Richard and I traveled to Advancing Native Missions in Virginia with Ron and Carla Thompson to a Construction Conference. We were able to load their truck up with dictionaries, clothing and medical supplies for the “Warehouse For The Nations”. We were blessed to get to stay with The Asher Family, thanks again for putting us up, we love you guys. This conference was a time to make others aware of what ANM is doing with the construction side of mission’s, Richard was able to share a little of what he had been a part of in the Philippines the last two years with the Tool Shed Ministry. He was part of a carpentry/welding team both times, teaching skills to help with jobs, there on site or even their own homes.
In June 2015, we were able to host John & Lynn Parker the director of “Warehouse For The Nations”. We actually were able to have some downtime with them and enjoy some outdoors at the lake with canoes, we love just getting to visit and spend time with them here or at their home in Virginia. They were able to share with Jacob’s Gift Board and friends along with Karim & Elham from Egypt. After hearing from Karim of a story of a Turkish woman and her family’s situation the board voted to give $3,000 for their housing. After he had spoken, I was visiting with some of our younger board members to find out what they were thinking and as they were sharing, I felt the passion and tugging of the heartstrings for this woman.
Later in the summer, our Secretary Vicki Smith asked us to bring some information about Jacob’s Gift up to Blakesburg’s Vaction Bible School. Thru these children and their families at VBS they were able to raise $710, toward clean water and to support a Pilipino child. Thanks to each of these kiddos, their parents and the workers at the VBS.
December’s Jacob’s Gift meeting was a special fact finding time, we had some special guests with us to share of their mission in Togo, Africa. Kodjo Bossou shared what took place this summer at AKEM (Africa Kids Evangelism Ministries). They have built a wall, well, school and pastors home on their property there in Togo to start their ministry, reaching boys and girls in their schools. They started school in September this year and already need to expand the school to be able to hold all the students and to continue thru the next grades. Kodjo’s wife, boys and mom were able to join in this special time of fellowshipping and Ron Thompson came to help share about this mission that he was blessed to be a part of this summer.
Here are a few memories of Jacob’s Gift shared by Vicki Smith our secretary - In the summer of 2012, Richard, Debbie, Josh, Kimberlie Hall, Kody & Katlynn Sammons, Jeff, Molly, Kara, Kallie and Cole Greiner went to ANM to help put a new roof on the Asher’s home. While the guys worked on the roof, the ladies gave the inside a new paint job. This was totally a surprise to Mrs. Asher. I felt blessed that part of our team would go above & beyond to give Mrs. Asher this kind of “treat”. Something she would have never asked for on her own accord. The second was in December of 2012 when I got to give a suggestion on what project we should do with the money that was given in memory of my mom, who had passed away the year before. I suggested a playground for the children in Tanzania, our board voted in favor of that project. My mom would be so excited, she loved to see children playing and having fun. Another thought was shared by Mark Stevens a board member, Mark said it was an honor to work with people and missionaries from ANM in being a part of Jacob’s Gift. They are like family, especially Bo Barredo co-founder of ANM how he makes you feel special.
A quick update on our family, we are all healthy, praise the Lord. Richard is still working at the hospital, sawing and woodworking projects like the canoe and furniture along with a little farming. I am working fulltime at a Recreational Vehicle Sales in the office, antiquing, junking with my Moose Patch shop, and of course being a GRANDMA. Josh and Kimberlie have been doing outside work to their home along with Richard’s help and many other family members. They are both enjoying those Hawks, way to go Hawkeyes. Josh is still at the credit union and Kimberlie teaches 9th grade English at a high School. Kody and Katlynn are being parents to an active 15 month old, and they are new homeowners this year. Kody is working in Grinnell as a programmer and Katlynn is a part time substitute teacher, then there is Konrad Jacob who loves to hang out with Grandpa and Grandma. We hope and pray each of you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year, we send our love and thanks to each of you.
We know at this time of year we think of all those with physical needs and more importantly those without our Lord Jesus Christ. If you feel led to be a part of any of these projects or future Jacob’s Gift projects, your giving will be tax deductible. We would love to hear from you.
Thru Him (Jesus Christ) I can go on,
Richard, Debbie, Joshua, Kimberlie, “Jacob”, Katlynn, Kody and Konrad
The Board of Directors of Jacob’s Gift
Gifts to Jacob’s Gift are tax-deductible and should be made payable to Jacob’s Gift
The purpose of Jacob’s Gift is to honor young Jacob Hall’s dream of becoming a Missionary by raising and receiving memorial donations and funds and distributing those funds to qualified Christian ministries that emphasize the evangelization of children around the world. 95% of all gifts received will go toward ministry projects.