As Victor and I prepared to attend the apple butter-making event at my sister’s home in Roanoke in October, we were excited to take several printed copies of the ANM Gift Catalog to family and friends at the event. Beth, my sister, and Dennis, her husband, the apple butter-making hosts, have been loyal supporters of ANM and us as staff for 26 years. I knew they would be interested in the catalog along with other family members.
As we shared about how funny we thought it was that a person can purchase 200 frogs for $10 for a missionary to raise for food, Dennis said, “I think I’ll have a workday for the grandkids to earn money to spend on catalog items.”
That is just what he did! In December, Beth wrote to ANM :
Thank you for your dedication and sacrifices to bring the Gospel to the world, and thank you for the beautiful Christmas Gift Catalog. We began what we pray will be an ongoing tradition in our family with our grandchildren. We want to instill in them a love for Jesus and for sharing the Gospel and our finances with the world.
So, we had them all to our house Saturday and made it a workday for them to each earn $10 to give to the item of their choice from the Christmas catalog.
We read the descriptions of the items, and they got so excited and wanted to do them all! They all worked hard raking leaves and bagging them and picking up magnolia pods. (So, of course, we got some yard work done, too!)
It was such a fun time. We had great discussions about missions in other countries and even about the persecuted church. I could feel God working in their young hearts, and I know He will grow this in their lives.
God bless you as you continue the work.
Until all hear,
Dennis and Beth Duff
After reading Beth’s letter, I called Beth to get more details about their workday.
Here is How the Day Went
It was a warm, sunny day in December 2021, when the grandkids ages 10, 9, 6, 6, and 2 came to work at the Duffs’ house. Beth showed the grandkids, Opal, Grant, Ezra, Samuel, and Virginia, the coloring book they had colored on Apple Butter day. They also looked at the catalog to see what they would be earning money to give to. Then, they went to work clearing leaves from their grandparents’ yard. Each grandchild got a turn to drive the lawn tractor (with G-Daddy’s help) pulling the trailer where they put the bags of leaves. Beth shared that they had fun jumping in piles of leaves and running around, but they did get the yard raked and the leaves bagged. Samuel, age six, buried his face in each pile of leaves he picked up with joy and giggles.
They also picked up seed pods from under the huge magnolia tree in the yard (making G-Daddy, Dennis, very happy). That led to a contest of throwing the pods to see who could get them in the wheelbarrow. All of the pods were eventually cleared from the yard. Each grandchild then received $10 to spend on items to go overseas to help people. Beth showed them the catalog so they could pick how to spend their money. When the kids saw the catalog, their first response was, “Let’s do them all.”
Each Child Had a Choice
Beth explained that they did not have enough money to buy all of them. Then she pointed out some items they could afford.
Opal chose frogs, as she has always loved frogs and lizards. Samuel wanted to purchase chickens. He said, “I want to do chickens so other people will be able to have eggs.” (His family is raising chickens and selling eggs.) Ezra wanted to buy bricks to help build a Christian school like the one he attends. Grant chose chickens because he also helps raise them, and he also decided on bricks because he likes to build things. When two-year-old Virginia was asked what she wanted to purchase, she chose Bibles for the children in China. “Books for the kids,” she said, since she loves books!
It was interesting to see how each child chose items they could relate to. Beth shared that the photo of the Chinese children with their eyes masked to protect their identities started a discussion about persecuted Christians. Beth guided the discussion so as not to alarm the younger children. She said, “We should be thankful that we are able to talk about Jesus and go to church. We need to pray for those who can’t. We can give money to spread the name of Jesus.”
I love that Dennis and Beth are passing along their passion for helping native missionaries to their grandchildren. After I talked with her, Beth shared a video with me of the kids swinging on a large swing and Opal climbing the tree above them. They took the video after the yard work and choosing of gifts was completed. Ezra exclaimed, “This is paradise.” I think they were feeling good about the hard work they had accomplished and the money they had donated.
Start Your Own Family Tradition
Maybe you have children or grandchildren who would be excited to earn money to send overseas to help needy people. They could be a part of spreading the Gospel to those who have never heard the name of Jesus. You can find items in the ANM Gift Catalog that will help native missionaries be self-sustaining and spread the Gospel. Check it out to see how you can bless missionaries and others overseas.