Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Elim Nativity Mission Project

Every year our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (you didn't know that, did you? LOL), has a nativity display in which all church's and members of the community are offered and encouraged to submit their nativity sets from around the world to be put on display for the Christmas season.  The various sets are beautifully placed together and open to the public for the first weekend of December, actually it's up and open in the evenings Wednesday through Sunday.  This helps to unite the community and to place the proper emphasis on the reason for the season, Jesus Christ's birth into the world.  Well, last year I ran across a wonderful story of one of the sets on display.

I was a new member of the nativity team last year, I'm the person setting up volunteers to be host/hostess' for the event.  So I was there everyday to open and to close the event, and happy to be there!  We had a guest come through that recognized one of sets, and I kid you not that are sets from all over the world made from many different materials.  She asked if we knew the story behind this particular set.  We (the hostess on tour and myself) said that we did not, but would love to hear it.  Turns out she had served in the area where this set had been created.  She shared with us the wonderful heart-touching story of how these nativity sets are made and what great blessings they provide for the families who joyfully create them.  I was so touched by the story that I made contact with the mission and became a Nativity Mission Coordinator here in the USA for them.  So let me share the story and the sets that I love with you.  Feel free to contact me by email me at Stephsgotit or here with any questions you may have or if you would like to order one of these magnificent sets, or several for that matter.

Elim Nativity Mission Project

The Nativity Project is a sewing project of Elim Christian Center and Bethel Church in Lwowek Slaski, Poland. This project helps to support needy families in this area. This area has a high unemployment rate.

After receiving inspiration, Elim Mission set about helping the families with a way that would allow them to create a support system for their families.  Many of the women of the area had never done handcrafts and certainly not sewn on a sewing machine before.   Elim Mission set up simple workshops to train the women.  Now these wonderful women are making the most beautiful handcrafted nativity sets I have ever seen.  They are not only beautifully crafted, but done with pride, love and joy by woman and their families who are now able to support themselves.    

Each woman is responsible for making one piece of the set.  For example one woman could be responsible for the Wise Men pieces, so she would make all 15 (I think that's the number I was told by the lady) of the Wise Men after the supplies have been delivered to her home.  The next time the truck comes she turns in her lovingly finished member of the sets and receives the packet of needed materials for the next set.  The finished pieces are then the responsible of a woman to lovingly and gently pack the sets to be shipped.  The is even a woman responsible for cutting out pieces.

If you would like to see some stories on some of the families please check out the following links to see the difference this opportunity has made in the very simplest of ways.  Things we consider to be just normal ways of living like indoor toilets, are not taken from granted with these women and their families. 


Now let's get to the star of the show, the nativity set information:

The Large Nativity Set:(consist of 16 pieces):
  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Baby Jesus in a Blanket
  • Baby's Crib
  • One Angel
  • One 'joyful' Shepherd
  • One Black Sheep
  • One Cream Sheep
  • One Twin Sheep - facing right
  • One Twin Sheep - facing left
  • Wise Man with Turban
  • Wise Man with Soft Crown
  • Wise Man with Head-dress
  • One Mother Camel
  • One Mother Donkey
  • A Double-Side, Fold -Away Stable
   Come with complimentary:
  • Elim Souvenir Bag to store the extra decoration  (This comes filled with straw for those living in Europe)
  • An Attractive Storage Box with a Pocket & Scripture
Suggested Donation for Sets in America:
People are free to give a donation for each Set as they feel led, (although a ‘suggestion’ is made for each set to cover our costs and the purposes, and it is encouraged that people try to honor this if they are able).

US $129.00 (plus shipping cost from me to you, unless you're a local peep, then no postage and I deliver with a smile!)

FYI - I MAKE NO MONEY IN THIS DEAL, EVERY PENNY GOES DIRECTLY TO THE MISSION. It is then used to cover the costs of materials, supplies, shipping, etc. and out to the families (the mission does NOT make money either).

There is also:

Mini Nativity Set - also know as the "Starter Set" (consisting of 8 pieces):
[if you look at the picture of the large set post above this one, it is the set in the middle of the picture]

  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Baby Jesus
  • Crib
  • Sheep
  • Donkey
  • Angel
  • Manger

Come with complimentary:
  • Attractive Handmade Elim Souvenir Storage Bag with a Pocket and Scripture
Suggested Donation for Sets in America:
People are free to give a donation for each Set as they feel led, (although a ‘suggestion’ is made for each set to cover our costs and the purposes, and it is encouraged that people try to honor this if they are able). 

US $68.00 (plus shipping cost from me to you, unless you're a local peep, then no postage and I deliver with a smile!)

You may also order extra pieces:

Nativity Extra pieces, with Suggested Donations...(see about note on suggested donations)
  • 2nd Shepherd and Baby Camel together, $15 for both together
  • Baby sheep   -  3 for $12  -  (1 Black & 2 White: OR individually $5 each)
  • Junior Donkey  $7  (medium) 
  • Baby Donkey   $6   (Tiny)
  • Mother Cows - $8 each Black with white spots, and White with black spots, - heads facing each other
  • Twin Calves - $7 each Black with white spots, and White with black spots, - heads facing each other 

Recently they have started making even LARGER sets, these are known as "Display Sets". If your church, business, organization, etc. would like to have a Display Set please let me know! This set consist of the same 16 pieces as the large set PLUS a 14 piece Expansion Set (this contains all the extra pieces [which of course can be ordered separately]). The only difference is that the Display Set is 4 times LARGER than the Large Set! Pictures comparing the two sets are below under appropriate heading ('Comparison of Large and Display Sets').

Display Sets
The first 16-pieces are:
  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Baby
  • Crib
  • Mother Donkey
  • Bull - Black w/ White patches
  • Shepherd with Staff by his side
  • Black Mother-sheep
  • Cream Mother-sheep
  • White Twin-sheep facing left
  • White Twin-sheep facing right
  • Wise Man with Turban
  • Wise Man with Crown
  • Wise Man with Head-dress
  • Mother Camel
  • Wooden collapsible Stable with Green Pine-needle roof.

 The Expansion Set has :
  • Large Size -Angel (Bendable arms and wings)
  • Second Shepherd (with hand and staff above head - can bend at the waist)
  • Mother cow (expecting) White w/ black patches
  • Newborn calf - Black w/ white patches
  • Newborn calf - White w/ black patches
  • White w/ black Junior-calf
  • White baby sheep (lies flat, and can bend)
  • White baby sheep (lies flat, and can bend)
  • White baby sheep (lies flat, and can bend)
  • Fluffy/Wooly mother-sheep facing left
  • Fluffy/Wooly mother- sheep facing right
  • Baby camel with string lease
  • Junior Donkey (light grey hair)
  • A choice-  of one of the following three, - either Tiny Baby Donkey(dark grey hair), or Fluffy/Wooly BABY-sheep(standing), or black Baby sheep(flat,& bends)

Suggested Donation for Sets in America:
Churches, business', organizations, etc. are free to offer a donation as they wish, but if they'd like a suggestion, because it is up to  4 times the  mass of the usual, we would like to offer it at a suggested donation from around 3 times the normal 16 piece set (which is normally a suggested donation of $129). The Expansion Set is 14 pieces,  and would like to offer a suggested donation from around 2 times the usual Expansion Set (normally suggested donation of $75).

I thought the following was great information to know. It tells you about the special features of the pieces and will be followed by various pictures of the some of pieces and sets.

Special Features:

1.      Mary’s arms are stitched together, but left loose, so that she can cradle her baby.

2.      Each piece is ‘Child Friendly”, which means that it feels friendly with its mixed stuffing, and useful in play to tell the Christmas Story.  The heavy bottom in each figure makes them fun to be put in various positions without falling.  Because of this…
  • The Kings can be firmly ‘plonked’ facing downwards in a bowing position before the crib.
  • The Shepherds can be ‘plonked’ backwards in awe of the angel’s Good News. The ‘rejoicing’ Shepherd (which is as “additional piece”) can have his ‘crook’ tilted downwards to use as a walking-stick. He can then be “plonked’ along slowly with one hand, as the other hand steps the stick alternately forward as a walking stick. 
  • The Donkey can sit or stand - plonk him onto his bottom with back legs apart & front legs straight.
  • The Camels can stand or kneel. Bend the Mother-camel’s back legs backwards, and the front legs front wards to make her kneel.  The Baby-camel’s legs all bend forward for kneeling. 

3.      The Angel’s arms have wire in them to use for praising, etc. The wings have wire in them to create beautiful wing positions.  You may use the Halo for hanging the angel above the stable.

4.      The ‘twin sheep’ appear to hug if placed ‘shoulder-to shoulder’, or as though kissing if placed “nose-to-nose”.  Place them ‘hugging’ in front of the crib and they look over the baby.

5.      The baby sheep. – Read this section under the heading “Additional Pieces’ to see what these sheep do.

6.      The Stable has a choice of 2 different colors and settings, one on either side.

7.      We have tried to sew facial expressions to represent the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit, (as listed in  the Bible in Galatians 5:22-23)

-                      Joseph        - Peace, Patience, Self Control
-                      Mary          - Love, Meekness
-                      Shepherds  - Joy
-                      All Kings    - Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness
           Can you see them?

8.      Inside the Baby’s filling has been placed the Bible verse John 3:16 which tells us the wonderful purpose of God sending His Son Jesus, which reads:

  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life” 

9.      A complimentary Elim Souvenir Bag is placed in each Large Set, and the Set is Gift-Boxed.  The Souvenir Bag comes filled with Straw for those living in Europe.

10.  Each Set comes with a small amount of Christian Literature to encourage you personally.  (Information about the Mission Work is also available at request)

(Parents should watch over smaller children that they do not detach pieces, put pieces into their mouths or harm themselves in any way).

NOTE: The heights of the Figures are around 20 cm, (8”).

You may also be glad to know that Gift sets can be put together:

Gift Sets:
  1. Shepherd Sets
    • Your choice of Shepherd (‘Joyful’ or ‘Rejoicing’)
    •  One White Sheep
    • An ‘Elim’ Souvenir Bag, with pocket & Scriptures
  2. Camel Set
    • A Royal Mother-Camel,  attached to a  Baby Camel (with string-leash)
    •  An ‘Elim’ Souvenir Bag, with pocket & Scriptures
  3. Angel Set
    • A Set of 2 matching Angels with different expressions
    • An ‘Elim’ Souvenir Bag, with pocket & Scriptures
  4. King Set
    • 3 Kings -  With Turban, Soft Crown, and Head veil
    • An ‘Elim’ Souvenir Bag, with pocket & Scriptures

You can inquire about the prices at Stephsgotit or here if you are interested. 

Finally, (yeah, I know) some pictures!

Please Note -  Colors and Materials may vary in all Sets from month to monthBut, the high standard and styles remain the same with each Set.  Every piece is hand-made, so every piece will  be slightly & individually different from another of the same sort.




Comparison of the Large Set and the Display Set:

Please let me know if you would love to order any of the sets mentioned above or if your church, business, organization, etc. would like to display one of these magnificent display nativity sets.  You can email me at Stephsgotit or here.

I leave you with my testimony of how thankful I am that I was present when that lady come through our nativity display.  I think this is wonderful testament of how the Lord will provide a way to take care of his children when we seek his guidance (and lucky us, he even blesses us when we don't remember to seek his guidance sometimes).  Elim Mission prayed for a way to help the community.  Once they received their answer to that prayer they proceeded to go to work to make it happen.  We are all God's children and he loves and cares for us.  If we ask him for help and do all that we can do he will provide.  Elim Mission is doing a wonderful service for this community and are a good example of being our brother's keeper.  What a blessing these nativity sets have been to the families and the mission, who serve all in that community.  

Elim Christian Center was established in Lwowek Slaski in Poland in 1992 through prayer and faith, with the vision to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ to the needy.

The Mission seeks to care for the spiritual and physical needs of the people in this region, believing that through this many could come to know that God really cares for them and to have the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

They help the poor, the needy and the handicapped.  May God continue to bless them in their efforts to serve and share the gospel.  I am honored to be allowed to participate.

Love and shimmies hon,

P.S.  I have a box coming in around early summer!  Be first in line to get one!  Also you can see a short YouTube video on the Nativity Mission Project here.  Don't forget you can contact me anytime for questions or to make an order at Stephsgotit or here!