GFA World’s ‘Forgotten Christmas’ Says ‘Put Compassion Ahead of Commercialism’

Gift-giving to world’s ‘least of these’ is heart of Christmas campaign

STONEY CREEK, Ontario — Faith-based missions agency GFA World (Formerly: Gospel for Asia, www.gfa.ca) is challenging people to reject the commercialization of Christmas and remember Asia’s 300 million ”forgotten” outcasts this festive season. 

Last year, Americans spent an estimated $720 billion on Christmas – about $885 per person. Some estimates suggest Christmas spending in the U.S. could hit a trillion dollars this year.

GFA World’s annual “Forgotten Christmas” campaign and video aims to show how a single act of compassion can make an impact on an entire community.

Through Forgotten Christmas and GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalogue, simple gifts like goats, chickens, and other income-generating animals help desperate families break the cycle of poverty. 

Many are struggling to survive, living in slums mired in extreme poverty and squalor, working as sewer cleaners and scavengers, with no chance of getting ahead or pulling themselves out of the gutter.

“These precious people are often viewed as human rubbish, and even the shadows they cast are believed to be cursed by some around them,” said GFA founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “Yet many lives are being changed forever by income-generating Christmas gifts.”

Putting Jesus Front and Centre

The campaign is about “making Christmas a time of remembering our God who loved the world so much that he sent his son,” said Dr. Yohannan, whose Canadian-based organization has served the poor in the world for 40 years. “A single gift of compassion can help communicate the love of Jesus to one person, one family, or even an entire village.”

GFA World offers a free Forgotten Christmas kit to help churches kick-start the campaign, including a video, sermon notes, and gift catalogue with practical items – such as goats and sewing machines – that help lift families and villages out of extreme poverty.

Compassion Tops Commercialism

In 2018, more than 230,000 impoverished families in the world received Christmas gifts through GFA World — and the organization aims to beat that number this year.

Kalapi’s children languished with hunger and sickness because there was no money to buy food or medicine. Through Forgotten Christmas, Kalapi received a cow and a calf, providing milk and an income stream for her family.

“I thank God who has blessed us,” she said.

Gifts like these can have a far-reaching impact, turning around families’ circumstances and creating a ripple effect across communities.

Forgotten Christmas reminds us of the real reason we celebrate the holiday,” Dr. Yohannan said. “It’s an incredible opportunity to pour out God’s love on those who are most in need in our generation.”

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Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, GFA World, www.gfa.ca is a leading faith-based mission agency, bringing vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions, especially to those who have yet to hear the “good news” of Jesus Christ. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,700 clean water wells drilled, over 11,400 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 240,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.

PHOTO CUTLINE: FORGOTTEN CHRISTMAS: Faith-based missions agency GFA World, www.gfa.ca is challenging people to reject the commercialization of Christmas and remember Asia’s 300 million “forgotten” outcasts this festive season. “Forgotten Christmas” empowers these poor and marginalized people to lift themselves out of the gutter.