Rich & Reida Barltey serve the Lord faithfully in the Slavic Village of Cleveland. Wooster Grace partners with them every Christmas to collect Christmas Boxes for distribution in the schools around Village Grace Mission Center.
Recently the city of Cleveland issued a Resolution of Appreciation for Village Grace. The resolution was certified and authorized on November 11, 2008 by the Cleveland City Council.
An exceprt from the certified copy of the resolution states, "BE IT RESOLVED, that Cleveland City Council proudly acknowledges the commitment that the Village Grace Mission Center has demonstrated in making a difference in the lives of the families in the Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood. This Council applauds the ministry's ourstanding efforts in fostering solutions for children, youth and families in our communities throughout the City of Cleveland, and further extends best wishes to everyone involved for much continues success in the future."
Way to go, God's fully devoted followers!
One great story from the Slavic Village Christmas Box Distribution, Rich tells involves two boys who received their boxes. Inside each one there is a five dollar bill. A small monetary gift for each child to spend in whatever way they'd like. But these boys chose a different way than normal.
Each boy put their monen into an envelope and gave it back to Rich. They said that they were blessed to have a Christmas box and they knew that others were less fortunate than themselves. So they decided to give their five dollars, ten dollars total so that more kids could receive a gift at Christmas.
That is the true essence of Christmas! Giving, not just receiving. As Christmas Day comes again, please seek to give as much or more than you receive. Anyone can do it!
Take God as your heavenly example, "For God so loved the world, that He GAVE His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16)."