Global partnerships. Local livelihoods.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say that your Christmas changed the world, in a way that is similar to the way that first Christmas changed the world? We’re happy to report that for at least some of you, that was the case.

It has been very exciting to see and to hear about the great ways many of you have entered into celebrating Jesus’ birth through Advent Conspiracy, Christ’s Birthday Offerings, and other means. And we were very happy to participate with our strategic partners at International Child Care Ministries in our Christmas catalog, and to partner with three groups around the world in furthering economic justice, sustainable livelihoods, and new futures.

Some of you reading this have been SEED fans for years, and it must be exceedingly gratifying to you to have seen the way God has grown the ministry over the past few years. Did you know that in the past two years we have more than doubled our number of events, and our individual and event sales volumes? That’s incredible! We continually give thanks to God and to you.

Two years ago there is no way we could have done a catalog: we didn’t partner with enough livelihood groups to make sufficient product to be able to supply that type of volume. It was so exciting to see orders roll in and know that we would be able to complete those orders, that each one meant an increase in life, health, food, and education for people.

For those of you who are numbers fans, how about these:

  • we had four times as many orders and seven times the dollar sales in November and December 2012 compared to 2011
  • we had an additional few dozen catalog orders by mail and phone for more than $2,000 additional individual sales
  • in November and December there were more than 25 events, scattered across the US, that had SEED partner group product. Every weekend through Christmas there were at least two places with product available for sale
  • from individuals and churches — and with still needing to hear from a couple of churches — we know that we raised over $10,000 to fund new efforts in India, Ethiopia, and the Philippines

As with the first Christmas, we view this as very much a beginning. We firmly believe that God has us at a place and a time where we are going to continue growing and expanding. We’re already looking at ways to grow, and we’ll be talking about those more over the next few months: trunk shows, more ongoing sellers, more development group projects, and (we hope!) at least a couple of new artisan groups. We’ll see what 2013 has in store, but we wanted to make sure we were rejoicing in what just happened first.

So, how was your Christmas? How did you change the world, or perhaps: how did your world change?