How one family’s Christmas tradition is changing the world — and you can too!

  • Niki Clark
  • Nov 14, 2023

There's nothing that Jan Markquart — whose family fondly calls Grandma Jan — loves more than watching her grandchildren make a difference in the world. Acts of service and sharing the divine love of Christ with others are values that she and her husband Ed have spent years instilling in their family, including the youngest members.

And while these values have importance throughout the year, Christmas time has a particularly special place in Grandma Jan’s heart for giving.

You can share the love of Jesus through acts of service

"The love of Jesus Christ living within us is our primary motivation to give," she said. "That's in our hearts. And it really pleases us for our children and grandchildren to have that divine love inside of them."

When she and Ed were younger, they participated in a church service trip with Lutheran World Relief to Haiti. At the time, they had no idea how much this one experience would feed into their faith and life for decades to come.

"They were feeding people and empowering local communities to improve their life," Grandma Jan said. "We saw them doing the Lord’s work."

During that trip, she and Ed witnessed the profound power that gifts of pigs, chickens and other livestock had on community members, and how the community came together as a result.

Goats make a lifechanging difference to families in need.

"People were working as hard as they could to make life better," she said. "Gifts of livestock were helping make that possible."

Grandma Jan knows that where there is a need – LWR is there.

"LWR knows where the greatest need is because they are there," she said. "It’s just what LWR does. We love LWR and what they want to do for the world. It's important for us to be part of it and be good servants to the world."

This holiday season, join Grandma Jan and her family with a simple act of neighborly love that can transform lives:

Shop the Gifts of Love catalog together with your loved ones and select heartfelt, life-changing gifts for families struggling to survive in the direst situations. 

There's no better time than Christmas to start a new family tradition of sharing your love with your neighbors who have the very least. 


Here are just a few of Grandma Jan’s favorite life-changing gifts: each children and families in Türkiye, Ukraine and beyond to help when it’s needed most.Help the healing process for women and children who have experienced violence and psychological trauma.  Provide high-quality, drought-tolerant seeds to help families grow more and better crops. border

Give a gift of love today and you too can start a family tradition that will help change the world.  


Niki Clark, Nov 14, 2023 email