From the Grace Brethren Church in Columbus, Ohio, comes this report from Pastor David Nicodemus (pictured at right), who leads the student ministries there.
Last night at The Rising high school ministry we held a Christmas Party. But this was not your typical youth group Christmas party. Sure we ate, had a game that involved Christmas carols, and had gifts. The gifts, however, were not for us. Each of the students brought in $5-10 that they normally would have spend on a white elephant gift. We pooled the money together, broke into groups, and headed to Wal-Mart with a shopping list and a heart for those in need.
Prior to the party we’d received word of a few families that had needs for their children this Christmas. Two of them will be provided with a gift for their child, but the third family will be receiving many things that we so often take for granted, such as basic household supplies. When I spoke with the mom she was so blown away by the offer that she told me this would be the best Christmas for her family, and that her kids would be to get some things they really needed.
So 40+ students hit Wal-Mart and not only completely filled the mother’s wish list, but also provided gift cards for the store and for gas, plus a gift for each of child. We returned to focus on the Christmas story and wrap the gifts…and of course, eat.
What a great ministry these students had last night! I was so encouraged by their attitudes and generosity. Many of them pitched in extra money as they were in the check-out line because they wanted to give more. And there wasn’t one complaint! As the night came to a close several students commented on how much they were encouraged and blessed to be a part of this night. One student even commented that this was the “best Christmas Party ever!” I have to agree.
A couple of the students and I will be delivering the gifts this afternoon. Please pray for the opportunity to pray with these moms, and even for the opportunity to share the gospel.