The approach of the new year always gets me in the mood to clean up and clean out. And so it was that I was cleaning out my inbox and found this from Betty Clough, a long-time Market Coordinator for AGI. I had asked Betty for “words of encouragement” for other Market Coordinators.
Matthew 26:40, “ … when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.” is the one I use to promote AGI. It is the verse I taught my sons when they were young to explain how the “AGI” gifts they received each Christmas were a way for them to “give a birthday gift to Jesus”. This is now how we explain to our grandchildren why we read aloud our AGI gift descriptions before opening any of our other presents – to share the gifts we give to Jesus first because Christmas is really a celebration of Jesus being born!
From our family’s introduction to Alternative Gifts International in the early 1990’s at Colesville Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring, MD, every member of our close extended family has received an AGI gift every year. We carried AGI with us through subsequent military moves and our kids’ college years. It was the first family tradition our sons prepared their future wives to expect! After my husband’s retirement as an active duty US Navy chaplain in 2000, we brought AGI markets – in various forms – to both Braden River Presbyterian Church (Bradenton, FL) and to Peace Presbyterian Church (Lakewood Ranch, FL). My commitment to AGI is due to the fact that I feel any Christian organization where the service and witness grew from one individual church to an international mission must be “Holy Spirit – driven!” I also rejoice in sharing AGI’s policy of giving 90% to vetted Charities that covenant to give 100% of what they receive to the designated projects.
Betty’s commitment to AGI inspires all of us here. I share it with you in the hope that it will inspire you to think about what you’re committed to and how you live that commitment year in and year out.
I hope all your celebrations are filled with joy-