With the help of many volunteers and supporters, Eric and Brittany Gibbs and Julia Curtis, North American Mission Board Mission Service Corps missionaries, brought Christmas to seven villages in the Tohono O’Odham Nation in December.
Through Live Love Ministries, directed by Eric Gibbs, the missionaries conducted Christmas in the Villages, ministering to 800 children and their families.
In three smaller villages, children were directly sponsored by individuals and churches who prayed for them and bought three to five gifts per child. In the larger villages, gifts and funds for gifts were donated by churches and individuals throughout the nation. The gifts were set up like a store, sorted by gender and ages, and parents were invited to choose two to three gifts for each child, take them home, wrap them and give them to their children.
In each community, there were activities for the children, along with cookies and hot chocolate. The Christmas story and the gospel were shared.
Live Love Ministries works with the community and tribal leaders to conduct Christmas in the Villages, establishing trust and laying the foundation for ministry throughout the year, Eric Gibbs said.
In its ninth year, Christmas in the Villages had more involvement from Arizona churches than ever, including Trinity Baptist Church, Pinal County Cowboy Church and Grace Church in Casa Grande; First Baptist Church, Sun City; CrossPoinTempe Church, Tempe; and Burton Baptist Church, Burton. Pinal County Cowboy Church, Casa Grande, offered its facilities for the sorting of gifts. Other help included donating gifts, sorting and wrapping gifts, making cookies and setting up for the parties.
To learn more about this ministry, go to liveloveministries.org.