Gifts of Advent: Joy from the Sky
December 2021

Advent is a season of reflection but also of anticipation. It means “coming” or “arrival”. For the Church, it means the arrival of Christ. Oswald J. Smith said, "We talk of the second coming. Half the world has never heard of the first." This month we are reflecting on the first advent and remembering some moments when our missionaries experienced the gifts of hope, love, joy, and peace on the field as they prepare for and anticipate the second advent. 

By Michael Smiel

“Yay!”, “Hooray!” or “Hallelujah!” are words that we might use to express our excitement or joy when we experience it. This is the process of rejoicing. Much rejoicing was witnessed during the first advent because there was much to be joyous about. Baby John the Baptist leapt for joy in Elizabeth’s womb when he came into the presence of Jesus in Mary’s womb (Luke 1:44). The angel brought “good news of great joy...for all people” about Christ to the shepherds in the field which led to them praising and glorifying God (Luke 2:10-11, 20). The wise men saw a star in the sky and "rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” because the star indicated where the Messiah was (Matthew 2:9-10). Good news of the arrival of the Savior was in the air. Last summer, SEND North was able to deliver a similar joy from the sky in their own way! 

SEND North had a campaign to raise $10,000 over the summer in order to fly kids to Bible camp from their villages in the Far North. They describe life in the Far North as “incredibly challenging and [that it] can be especially hard on kids.” Many of the kids have very few opportunities to leave their villages and “many of these villages have no church." That’s why having the opportunity to fly to Bible camp is so important. It is a place where kids have the chance to meet other kids and to hear about Jesus! It’s a place for life-changing experience. It costs about $250 to get a child to camp and back in a small bush plane. They had 60 kids who needed help getting to camp last summer. They set their $10,000 goal to help curb the cost of flying kids to camp. They raised nearly $17,000!  

Kids Rejoice at Camp 2021

One SEND North missionary, said he was able to see the kids from the village where he lives get ready to go to camp and board the plane. His oldest daughter got to go to camp too and he said, “she was talking about camp for about two weeks straight afterward and calls, [about once a week], some of the friends she made at camp who live in other villages”. Imagine the future opportunities to share the gospel because of the friendships she made! 

SEND North describes their efforts on this project as, “A small fleet of tiny airplanes deliver[ing] every camper, every morsel of food, every lightbulb to Alaska’s summer camps. It takes colossal effort, and it’s worth it because at these camps, kids find God off the grid...The gospel is just a flight away.” If you are feeling joy in your inner being in response to all of those kids being able to hear the good news of Jesus like the shepherds and the wise men, then you might give a “Yay!”, “Hooray!”, or “Hallelujah!” and rejoice with SEND! 

How might you deliver the joy of the gospel to someone this Christmas? 

Even in North America, some communities have not heard of the saving love of Christ. Learn more about how SEND’s teams live out the gospel in these areas.Explore ministry in North America


Subscribe now to stay up to date on all our recent posts, right to your inbox!

Connect with SEND

Start your missions journey by chatting with a SEND Coach.


Sign up for Explore, our monthly newsletter to help you discover your role in missions.