Christmas in August 2015 is coming! What is Christmas in August?
Christmas in August is a ministry of WMU and The North American Mission Board. Churches have the ability to sponsor a missionary for the month of August. At First Southern Baptist Church of Grandview, we will be gathering supplies and materials to support a NAMB missionary’s ministry. The Children and Youth at FSBCG have a special, surprise Christmas in August event on August 26, 2015 at 6:30. Dinner will be provided for this event. Christmas in August is a fantastic way to partner with North American Missionary and teach all age groups about Missions while partipating in it ourselves.
How did it begin?
The first Christmas in August was a project of the Sunbeam Band of the First Baptist Church of Charlottesville, Virginia. The year was 1927.
Elizabeth Ellyson Wiley (Mrs. J. Hundley) was speaking in that church on her first furlough (now called stateside assignment). She and her husband served at the University of Shanghai in China. She spoke of her desire to witness to the illiterate women who worked as servants in the university community. She mentioned their children and her desire for these children to know the joy of Christmas. Mrs. Guy Via, who led the Sunbeam Band, asked if the children couldn’t send gifts. There were 100 gifts that first year, and a tree was set up in the university chapel. Christmas entertainment was given for the servants and their children.
Since there were 400 mothers and children to be provided for, Mrs. Wiley wrote other friends in Virginia, telling them of the project. Eventually, the project was adopted for Sunbeams by Virginia WMU, and gifts were sent to the Richmond office and then shipped from there. As there were more gifts, other projects were set up: Christmas trees for the children of faculty members, a Christmas tree at Yangtee Poo Social Center maintained by Dr. Wiley’s classes.
In 1937 the box of gifts was lost in shipping; it was traced as far as the Philippines, but never reached Shanghai. It seemed unwise to ship any more items to China because of the war, so Virginia Sunbeams sent their gifts to home missionaries (now called North American Missionaries). And thus, Christmas in August (as we now know it) was born!