It is a bit of a challenge to give a succinct review of our community outreach on Christmas day as there are so many wonderful stories to share. I could quiet easily write a piece just on how blessedly beautiful it is when brothers and sisters work together in unity and selfless service. As the organiser of the Christmas Day Meal I give a hearty amen to this truth.
The Christmas Day Team are a delight and a tremendous witness to the love of God and it is no sacrifice for me to spend the day with such amazing givers. If the truth be known, many of the team work much harder and give much more time to the outreach than I and without them the day would not happen.
In a similar way, the generous giving of the wider family at ACC not only ensures our guests have an amazing Christmas meal (some guests having second and third helpings and still room for pud!) Just when they think we cannot show anymore kindness and our time together is drawing to a close we give a gift to leave with. This year as one of the several guests who just turned up on the day was leaving to return to his cardboard box bed, I gave him a supermarket voucher. He filled-up with emotion and behind his many layers of clothing I saw the face of an image bearer; made in the image of HIS creator. How true the words of the Christmas Carol, ” O Holy Night” – then he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
ACC that men left feeling some worth. As followers of Jesus our aim is always to offer more than food and gifts and the friendship and interest shown for our guests is for many the best kindness. Guests this year were prayed for and witnessed to and when they are taken home their gratitude and anticipation to see us again is heart warming.
Of course it would not be Christmas Day without a few dramas. Whether it be our RED WATCH Fire Brigade waiters having to down the pigs in blankets as the emergency call came that a fire had broken out or whether it is concerns for how to safely host a group of guests from such diverse backgrounds with vastly differing needs which can be a challenge in itself but, as always the day was enjoyed by all. There is nowhere else like the church of the Living God where men ,women and children can come together as equals and this was again evident when on the 25th December 2018 the accomplished, the drug user, the elderly, the children, the disabled and the homeless gathered without prejudice in peace and safety and enjoyed a community Christmas together: Thank you to all who made it so. – Marie Elizabeth Fields