Denmark Church passes along their Christmas Miracle

By Allen Crabtree

Guest Writer

JAN WEST SCHROCK receives a group hug from the children of the Denmark Congregational Church. The children collected $15,000 and donated it to Heifer International to send animals to needy families around the world. (Photo by Allen Crabtree)

DENMARK — It is not often in a child’s life when they can see first-hand the sweet fruits of Christian love and compassion.

That happened this past Sunday when the children of the Denmark Congregational Church were able to present Jan West Schrock, senior advisor for Heifer International, a check for $15,000. This represents three Heifer “Gift Arks,” or 90 animals that will be sent to less fortunate families around the globe to help them become self-sufficient.

NANCY SANBORN made a huge cake in the shape of Noah’s Ark to celebrate the donation by the children of the Denmark Congregational Church of $15,000 to Heifer International. (Photo by Allen Crabtree)

Schrock told the children about Heifer International and some of their amazing success stories in helping families and communities around the world. She read a book to them about a young girl in Uganda, whose family had received a goat through Heifer International, a gift that changed their lives forever. The money raised from selling the goat’s milk allowed the family to send their daughter to school. Today, that young girl is a young woman, a college graduate and working to better the lives of all the people of her native land.

“The gift that you are giving today is much more than the animals that you are sending,” said Schrock.  “You are helping to end poverty, establish sustainability and self-reliance, and encouraging sharing and caring among the communities who receive Heifer animals. We want to help end world hunger and poverty and promote the wise stewardship of our planet, and you have made a significant contribution to that goal.”

She described the 12 cornerstones of Heifer International programs, including “Passing on the Gift,” which is key not only to ending poverty but establishing

JAN WEST SCHROCK reads to the children of the Denmark Congregational Church about a young girl in Uganda whose family received a goat from Heifer International. (Photo by Allen Crabtree)

sustainability for many generations. Another cornerstone is creating strong communities to become self-reliant. Each family who receives livestock is trained in its care, and signs an agreement to pass on one or more of the animal’s offspring to other families who are in need in their community. Every gift will multiply for years to come.

“I’ve done the numbers,” interjected Bill Sanborn from the congregation as Schrock was answering questions. “As the offspring of these gift animals is shared with other families in their communities the 90 animals that we are sending out will directly benefit nearly 30,000 people over the next few years. That’s a tremendous payback for our gift!”

Pastor John Patrick echoed what the entire congregation felt. “This entire episode has been a blessing for all of us here in the congregation, and for all of the generous donors who have made all this possible. We thank you all for allowing our little country church to demonstrate Christian charity and love in such a meaningful way, that will affect so many lives around the world.”

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