In Tough Times, the Promise of Jesus Still Delivers
Below is an excerpt from LINC Houston’s recent newsletter.
This year even Santa Claus was being asked to scale back kids’ holiday gift expectations. According to a New York Times story, mall Santas across the nation were being asked to “not promise anything” this Christmas. With the economic slump continuing and many parents struggling to get by this Christmas it could be said that this holiday held less promise than years’ past.
Despite the downturn, LINC’s mission ministries and partners went above and beyond this year to deliver Christmas wishes to kids across Houston and, more importantly, bring the Good News of Jesus’ birth to families struggling to make ends meet. This year, through LINC Houston’s Toys for Joy Christmas program 3,230 toys were distributed to families and children in need.
One such event was the Hamara Desi Christmas program put on December 17 for area Asian Indians to share and celebrate in the Good News, and the realized promise, of Jesus Christ’s birth. In particular Indian flair the Christmas story was retold in song, dance and drama. Over 400 people were in attendance at the University of Houston this year and at the close of the program attendees not only enjoyed some tantalizing tandoori, but kids got a visit from Santa as Toys for Joy gifts were handed out.
“It’s neat to see Christ shared in so many ways” said one of the event organizers, Johnson Petta, “from songs to fellowship to Christmas presents, I think these people know how much God loves them.”
Earlier in the day Pastor Kim joined St. John Lutheran Church Cypress, Iglesia Cristiana Emanuel and Centro Familiar Cristiano at the Oakleaf Village apartment complex for another special event.
Partnering together the three ministries offered families toys, a meal, complimentary flu shots, Bibles, a nativity drama and a Christmas message. Over 330 plates of food were served, 390 toys passed out and 400 Spanish and English Bibles distributed. There were also craft activites for the kids and a children’s choir performance led by Deaconess Noemi Guerra. Pastor Nelson Hernandez of Iglesia Cristiano Emanuel and Rev. Lincon Guerra of Centro Familiar Cristiano shared Christmas messages with the gathered group.
During one of the messages the crowd of hundreds shouted with joy, “Jesus is our Savior!”
“That was the highlight of the event” said Pastor Kim, “while the food and presents were important, the promise of Jesus Christ is of prime importance!”
While the Christmas season might be mired for many because of meager funds the missionaries and partners at LINC know that the holidays are about more than games and gifts, food and fun. Although this Christmas was special for us as we handed out presents, put on Christmas shows and partnered with the likes of the Deacons of Deadwood and the Houston Police Department’s Blue Santa program the best part was sharing the promise of Christ and his birth throughout Houston.
Our hope and prayer is that you too would know the love of God, the wonderful gift that is Jesus, his Son and the promise that is met in his birth.