Last week Equip hosted our 3rd annual Christmas Care Package party, assembling over 70 care packages for LGBT+ teens in foster care or navigating homelessness. Celebrate with us God’s abundant provision, learn with us about the challenges at-risk LGBT+ youth face, and pray with us for expressions of Christ’s love in our communities this Christmas!
Each year, Equip hosts a Christmas Care Package Party to give back to our community. Volunteers purchase gifts and treats, pack up festive bags, and join us to hand write notes of encouragement to the LGBT+ individuals who will receive the care packages. COVID-19 kept us from gathering in-person to pack care packages this year, but a virtual format allowed us to include volunteers from across the country! This year, volunteers from several states joined our third annual party via Zoom. We prayed together, wrote notes of encouragement together, and even sang some Christmas carols together.
Praise God for 70 care packages for LGBT+ teens
Friends of Equip donated over $900 to purchase gifts for 26 care packages, and other supporters packaged another five care packages. This week we will deliver 31 care packages to Nashville LGBT+ youth who are in foster care or who are at-risk for homelessness.
Plus, a group in Indiana joined our virtual party and put together another 40 care packages for LGBT+ youth in their city, bringing our grand total for this year to over 70 care packages!
Why serve LGBT+ youth?
Some of the most vulnerable of the LGBT+ community are youth: Though LGBT+ people comprise between 4-9% of the total population, more than 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT+. Many of these youth become homeless when conservative, religious parents react violently to their coming out or ask them to leave home when their orientation or gender identity is revealed. And though 86% of LGBT+ people grow up attending church, over half of them will eventually leave the faith. LGBT+ youth are also about 5 times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers.
These care packages are a small part of our bigger work: we want our churches to become places where gay people can thrive according to a historic sexual ethic. We know that God’s word reveals to all of us His wisdom for how to best enjoy relationship with each other, and we hope that all people—gay and straight-—would follow His wisdom. But it’s difficult for many gay people to believe that God or Christians love them because of how they’ve been treated by Christians. We hope that these care packages are a small but bright spot in an otherwise dark winter break for gay people without family and without a place to call home.
Pray with Equip for LGBT+ teens
Though we don’t write out Bible verses or send cards with pictures of the nativity or include Christian tracts in the bags, we do pray that these care packages will serve as a sign of God’s deep love and care for each individual who receives a care package.
Pray this prayer with us:
Bless now, O Lord, this gift and its benefits,
that it might be received as evidence
of your mercies.
May our acts of service and giving
be met and multiplied by the mysterious
workings of your Spirit
who weaves all things together
toward a redemption more good and glorious
than we yet have eyes to see,
or courage to hope for.
May our love and our labors
now echo your love
and your labors, O Lord.
Use these gifts for works of love and mercy,
and for the increase of your glory.
Though our care package party is over for this year, you can still bless LGBT+ individuals by supporting the work of Equip. Equip’s new Parent Course launched in January: consider sponsoring a parent to attend the Course by providing a scholarship so that fewer LGBT+ kids are forced out of their homes or forced to hide their attractions.
Visit equipyourcommunity.org/support to give a parent-in-need scholarship access to Equip’s new Parent Course.