Not Everyone is having a Merry Christmas

 

In 1985 my wife Michele and I were Children’s Pastors at Rose Lane Assembly of God in Phoenix Arizona. We ministered to about 125 children each weekend. We bussed in about 60 of those kids from our local community. Picking most of them up in Apartment complexes.

 

Many of them came from single parent homes. These families were very poor and could often not afford basic needs. Year around our church family would help feed and clothe the kids in need who attended our church. We recognized early on that most of these kids were not getting breakfast so we set up a room where we would feed them before we brought them into the Children’s Church service. We called that service “SUPER CHURCH”.

 

Each Christmas our church families would adopt one of the bus kids and buy Christmas for that family. On the week Christmas we would deliver these gifts. In a few cases we would bring everything: The Tree, The Christmas lunch, presents for everyone and some basic groceries and a gift card. Our church family loved being a part of this each year.

 

Last week were back in Phoenix Az to visit with family. As I drove around the city I was remembering back to those early years in ministry and those bus kids and the special Christmas’s we shared. Wondering where many of those Children are today.

 

It seems easy today to drive by the apartment complexes that surround our cities and forget that there are families living there who are struggling to provide basic needs. More importantly there are families living there who do not know the Christ of Christmas.

 

Three years ago our family carried 150.00 worth of groceries into an apartment complex less than a mile from our home where people had nothing to eat. It was a Monday and they told us that they were waiting for the father to get paid on Friday of that week in order to buy groceries. On the drive home we were all overwhelmed with joy at the opportunity and at the same time in shock that just blocks from our home a family was hungry. It reminded me of those early years in ministry as a children’s pastor. I was so connected to the needs of our community because of the children I ministered too weekly.

 

January 2017 God has laid it on my heart to lead our church back into the communities. To rediscover the need, to meet the families, to put names to faces, to discover ways we can make a difference, to share the message of Christmas with the people who call our cities home. I want to invite you to join with me in the effort. There are three things we can all do:

 

1.  GATHER faithfully each weekend and in small groups

2.  GROW spiritually. Study God’s Word, Pray, Attend Grace Place University classes

3.  GO serve! We will create many opportunities this year for you to serve. Serve at the Grace Place and in our community as the opportunities arise. 

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