Monday, December 10, 2012

WEEK OF PRAYER: Doctor's Rx for suffering centers on Jesus

CENTRAL ASIA (BP) -- Flies circle the sparsely equipped operating room in remote Central Asia. One lands on an instrument tray, strutting the length of a scalpel seconds before the previously sterile instrument slices beneath skin of Jalal Hossein*.

Highlands Church hosts Christmas store for Denver families Read more: Highlands Church hosts Christmas store for Denver families

Raymond Lerma knows every decal on the toy race car he wants for Christmas — he can hum the three different engine sounds the toy makes.

When he had a chance to tell Santa about the car, the 5-year-old didn't talk about how fast it can go or the special wheels that make it great for crashing into things. He didn't even mention the color.
Instead, Raymond talked about the color of the water bottle he had picked out for his father's Christmas stocking.

"I didn't saw a red water bottle so I picked the blue," Raymond said.
Raymond's family was one of about 200 families that spent Saturday at the Highlands Church Christmas Store. The church teamed up with the Bienvenidos Food Bank to host the event, during

which families could select gifts to stuff into loved ones' holiday stockings.
"Our hope is that we can provide integrity and respect to each of the families," said Anne Politzki, head of community life and outreach for the church. "It gives them a little bit of ownership in the gifts they're giving each other."

More than 1,000 care packages boxed for troops overseas

Hundreds of volunteers lined up at a Napa church on Saturday to fill 1,050 care packages for troops deployed overseas, all in an effort to make sure soldiers sent to Afghanistan and other countries are not forgotten this holiday season.

Operation: With Love from Home drew volunteers of all ages to CrossWalk Community Church on First Street, where they worked in a chain to fill U.S. Postal Service boxes with cards, toiletries, beef jerky, socks, candy bars, soups and other goodies.

“I’m elated,” said Liz Alessio, a community benefits coordinator for Queen of the Valley Medical Center who coordinates the program.

The group, which recently announced donations were a third of what it had projected, was able reach its goal of sending at least 1,000 packages thanks to recent pledges, including charity organizations in Napa.

Among the volunteers was Vicki Langdale, a nurse at Queen of the Valley Medical Center, whose son, Jarrod Little, of Lakeside, Texas, was killed in Iraq in 2004 while escorting electrical engineers. Also present was Simri Casas, 20, of Napa, whose boyfriend, Marine Corps Cpl. Adalberto Espinoza, is deployed overseas.

As she distributed packages of instant coffee, Casas said she had volunteered to give back and “to let (the troops) know that we love them and that we’re thankful for what they do.”


Christians Stage Live Nativity in Protest Against Santa Monica’s Atheist-Led Nativity Ban