While working at the Orlando, Florida, Adventist Book Center (ABC) for many years, Debbie Varsubsky came in contact with missionaries and people going on mission trips. She asked if they had room in their suitcases for a three-year Bible felt set. This could be left with the school to give them a Bible class each day for the school year, and also could be used for a Sabbath School lesson every week for three years. The felts were happily received. People sent back pictures and letters of gratitude.
Varsubsky retired from the ABC in 2020, and started connecting with missionaries from many booths at the Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) Convention in Orlando. The Lord now gave her a larger picture, impressing her to speak to her Plymouth-Sorrento Church family and have them make this a church project. Members agreed and gave the ministry the name, “Felts for Children.”
The first appeal was in November 2022, when the idea was promoted for a Christmas project. In writings from the book Adventist Home, page 480, Ellen White explains how wonderful a Christmas tree is in the sanctuary and a blessing with gifts for Jesus upon it — gifts that would help the less fortunate. If we give gifts for our children and loved ones, shouldn’t we give Jesus the best gift?
More than $2,600 in checks were placed on the tree to purchase 27 felt sets for Peru, Kenya, Ukraine, Haiti, and Eswatini (Swaziland). Now, 22 Adventist organizations have been contacted to take the Bible sets to the children. Monthly donations this year have enabled the purchase of another 43 sets of felts, making a total of 70 sets as of September. They have now reached more than 50 countries.
“Let’s not forget the Great Gift Giver since we are celebrating Him,” said Varsubsky. “We hope other churches will start a project this season to gather funds to support a new well, build a church, support an orphanage, help a Florida Adventist ministry called ‘Restore a Child,’ and many other ministries.” Varsubsky may be reached at FeltsforChildren@gmail.com.
Florida | November 2023