Yesterday, in the midst of my busy schedule, I got to experience a miracle. The church Jenn and I attend, Living Hope Baptist Church, hosted kids through a ministry known as Angel Tree. This is such an amazing ministry! What we do is hang some ‘angels’ on a tree with some wish lists for kids in our neighborhood. We buy them, wrap them, and bring them back to the church. Our church is located in the heart of SE Portland, with many broken, lower –income families all around us. As many churches do during Christmas time, people in the church grabbed a name (or two) and bought gifts for these kids. Then we host a breakfast for them. This was such an amazing experience. Here is how we did it:
• We got some people to decorate a tree (Cause it would not be Christmas without a tree)
• We create a craft for the kids (what kid does not like to glue stuff together?)
• We wrap up their gifts and put them in bags. (because un-wrapped presents would not be fun)
• We set up tables with host families (this gives the families a warm face and family to connect with)
• We get some guys to cook some breakfast (cause pancakes, eggs, ham, OJ, and coffee is more than they expect at home).
• We play some games (including the kids, their parents, and their host families)
• We tell them a Bible story (ours fits in with Christmas)
• We sing Christmas carols (Rudolph, Frosty, Silent Night, etc)
• SANTA COMES!!! (Yep! Santa comes and gives the gifts to the kids-You should have seen their faces)
• They can get Pictures taken with Santa!
• We wish them a Merry Christmas (as they walk out with smiles because of the amazing gifts they got)
Why do I mention this? Because God blessed those families that morning! A few hours of our time setting up, cooking, collecting gifts, planning games, preparing songs, etc. made for an unforgettable Christmas for these families. The sad thing (to me anyways) is that for some of those kids this was the only “Christmas” they get! What our church donated and bought for them!!! HOW SAD!
We never know how God is going to bless our work. It could be that none of those families or kids got anything out of this (however I don’t think this is the case). Even if we touched one heart, our Christmas Morning was a success!! Sharing the love of Christ with someone is probably the most amazing thing anyone can ever do! As we are in the “holiday season” God brings many people into our paths! How are you going to share the love of Christ with them??
I was just amazed at how much 1 church was able to bless their community by collecting gifts, wrapping them, giving them a Christmas morning, and letting them enjoy something we take for granted (CHRISTMAS MORNING). Now imagine what it would be like if every church in your city did this and blessed families in their community. Imagine how many families would have the blessing of God’s grace and love poured out on them this Christmas season. That is truly what Christmas is all about: God pouring out His love and grace upon us through His son Jesus Christ.
Angel Tree is a great ministry to partner with as you seek to reach out to your neighborhood!