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Maycee and Chelle Gross wrap a package in the family’s upper living area, turned into a gift-wrapping area for Christmas packages. The project is helping family members raise funds to go on various mission trips in the coming year.

Christ was born to save and to serve, with Christmas being the time God’s promise to give us a way to be saved was fulfilled through Christ’s birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection.

Christ is also the perfect example of serving others by what he did on earth “for the least of these;” feeding fish and bread to the 5,000, healing the sick, the lame, and curing the afflicted with leprosy.

A Southaven family has spent the past few weeks using the service to others as a means to help them serve others in other countries later this year.

The Stephen and Chelle Gross family, with children Michael, Lauren, David and Maycee, have a number of overseas excursions to other countries this coming year to work and assist in mission and other projects.

This past month, they have offered themselves to families who have bought Christmas gifts but who do not have the means or ability to wrap them.

For a suggested donation per package, people could bring their Christmas gift to the Gross’ home, have them wrapped and ready to be placed under the tree.

By helping people get their gift ready to give to others at Christmas, the project is helping them be able to give the gift of Jesus to others later this year, said Chelle Gross.

“We are not going on one mission trip as a family, but we have plans this year for our entire family to be headed overseas for a number of mission trips,” she said.

The trips family members plan to take this year will send them to Costa Rica, the rain forests of Brazil’s Amazon River region, and to Jamaica.

“I think most Americans have no idea how good they have it,” Chelle said. “I think it is very important to put my children’s feet on their soil. Until they put their feet down, smell the smells, see the sights and see these kids happy as a lark, running around with just a stick and a ball, they just don’t understand it all.”

The money raised through the Gross family effort won’t be evenly divided among the children, Chelle said. Each child receives an amount equal to the fee for each gift they help wrap.

“To me, if you can offer somebody a service for that money, they have a little bit more ownership in it,” she said. “You wrap the gifts, you get the fee the people have paid for you to do it.”

Gross said families have dropped entire Christmas lists at their doorstep for wrapping, which is done in the family playroom area upstairs, now turned into a gift wrapping factory.

It was the beginning of December when they started wrapping gifts for others, using Facebook primarily as a means of letting people know what they were doing.

“It’s meeting our expectations,” Gross said about the response. “The people who pick up the gifts are so excited, they’re happy when they leave and willing to donate to this. The true gift will be when my kids go and serve people who are a lot less fortunate than they are.”

Gross said people who may have a last-minute gift to wrap and help their mission efforts may search for her, “Chelle May Gross” on Facebook and find out more on how you can help them serve you at Christmas to help them serve others and provide an everlasting gift for others later this year.

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.

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