In case you're wondering what this Abraham's Advent ebook and fundraiser is all about. . .
I remember when the ISIS crisis came to the forefront of media attention last August with the situation on Mount Sinjar. I felt crushed, helpless, and yet somehow responsible. I wrote about this feeling on my blog, and it seemed to resonate with many. The question remained - what could we do?
I cried, and prayed, and gave a few dollars, all we could manage at the time, to reputable charities helping out with emergency aid. And then in April, I cried again while reading Ann Voskamp’s blog. I clicked through the links at the end of her post, “Love in the Time of ISIS,” and that’s when I found Preemptive Love. The heart of Iraq called my name, and I knew, here was something.
My husband and I made a donation. I asked for a Preemptive Love t-shirt for my birthday. And since then I’ve been following what they’ve been up to, loving and sharing the difference they’ve been making in the Middle East.
Preemptive Love provides heart surgery for hundreds of desperate Iraqi children. They provide emergency aid to those fleeing violence. They also help ISIS survivors return to their homes and rebuild their lives. They are love's "boots on the ground" in some of the darkest and most dangerous places in the Middle East.
I’ve wanted to do more. I saw people fundraising on their own, many selling their own crafts and artwork. Well, I am not a crafty person, but I do love to craft words. And then an idea began to form for my own fundraiser. That's where Abrahams' Advent comes in.
Abraham's Advent is a devotional that was birthed several years ago. It came out of a time when I was a new wife in a new town, studying the life of Abraham. There was something about the narrative that sucked me in. I felt like I was following in his footsteps, and as I walked with him through the pages of Scripture, the story came alive. I could smell the dust. I could feel the heat. My heart beat right along with his in moments of both elation and fear. I lived the promises with him. Christmas was coming, my first Christmas away from family. I was fairly new to the whole concept of Advent. Somehow, in a way I can't even remember now, I lived through that Advent with Abraham. I hoped along with him, each day jotting down thoughts and questions. And then I imagined what it would be like if past, present and future converged in Bethlehem on that oh so holy night. Somehow it all came together and formed itself.
Over the years I shared it with friends and family and a few in our church. I wrote it for me, but Abraham seemed to resonate with some of them too. And then at the end of this summer, as my sister-in-law Megan and I were talking during one of her visits, the idea hit. Why not turn Abraham's Advent into an ebook, and use it as as a fundraiser for Preemptive Love? Yes! Here was a small something I could do.
I got in touch with a graphic designer friend of mine, Kathy Jimenez, and she generously donated some of her skills to the project. With her help (and my husband's!) it is now a beautiful ebook, with proceeds going toward Preemptive Love. This is my offering.
I still cry sometimes. When I think about Iraq, about where Syrian children sleep, about Paris, about this whole hurting world. But there is hope, thanks in large part to the work organizations like Preemptive Love is doing. I believe there is always hope in Jesus, and through the people who dare to be His hands and feet in some of the riskiest places.
So this Advent, consider spreading some "preemptive love."Consider sharing in this peacemaking movement. Consider taking a walk with Abraham, himself a stranger in a foreign land, and learn what it means to live within the hope and promise of God. Prepare your heart to welcome Jesus.
Abrahams' Advent: A Stranger's Journey to Bethlehem and Beyond is available now for $3.99 (CDN). Click here to purchase and download in either EPUB or PDF format.
Living in hope,