“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
I love this time of the year when you see so many lights everywhere. Christmas lights decorate houses and buildings everywhere and bring an array of colors that we don’t normally see. They make communities feel friendly, loving, and just more fun! As I write this article, I am in New York where we have just finished two Christmas outreaches with two different churches. One was in Staten Island where over 60 percent of the houses still have no power due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
However, even in this community with very little power, those who did have power put up their Christmas lights on display for all to see and enjoy. The contrast from the darkness of the city in the night time and the beautiful Christmas lights grew even more profound. The local church called Movement Church set up a large heated tent on an open lot. This tent served as a meeting ground where food was served, presents were given, and Christmas music filled the air. More than 600 people came to get a break from the new reality of life after the storm. Many people were blessed and touched by the love of God.
The next day we cooked and served at another church in Queens, New York. Over 400 people attended and were served a hot meal and children and adults alike received Christmas gifts. HopeNYC church has a large warehouse that has collected and distributed millions of dollars of aid to churches all over the Queens and Rockaway area. Because of major damage to their houses, the senior pastors and many of the staff families have lived in the church offices for over six weeks now.
In the midst of this loss, they choose to open their church up to serve their community. One of the people in the church had the idea of putting up a large Christmas tree outside. After looking for a 24ft. tree and then coming to the reality that the cost for such a large tree would be thousands of dollars, it seemed that it would remain simply as a good idea rather than a reality.
But one man knew of a Christmas tree farm up in Connecticut and decided to go and talk to the owner. The tree farm was filled with small 5-6ft. trees, but in the middle of the farm was a large Christmas tree over 24ft. tall. It had been growing for over 30 years. The tree needed to be removed to allow space for other trees to be planted, but because of a rock under the tree it could not be moved to another location to continue to grow. After talking to the owner about what they were trying to do in Queens for the community, he agreed to donate the tree. The tree was set up outside the church and was adorned with many lights and a huge star on the top. It was an amazing story that has brought light and joy to a community which was in desperate need.
I share these two stories to encourage you that our acts of compassion release light into the world. When the light is released, it shines and releases the reality of the love that God has for people. Thank you for letting your light shine!
A Year in Review
In closing I want give thanks to all of you that have supported the ministry of Compassion Acts. This year has been an amazing year of touching the lives of families all over the world. This year we built our second Dreamer’s Park in Poi Pet, Cambodia which will touch thousands of children and provide a safe place for those children to play. We served thousand of meals to people in times of disasters in New Orleans, New York, and New Jersey. We have taught and led teams in Cambodia and Thailand in partnership with XP Missions and seen so many touched by the power of God.
So thank you for partnering with us! You may not be able to go, but you have given, and you have prayed. Our team at Compassion Acts thanks you so much for believing in us. The year before us is full of opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to a world in need.
If you would like to support our efforts, please pray and then give as you feel the Lord lead.
With a grateful heart,
International Director of Compassion Acts
Blood 'n Fire Ministries, San Antonio, TX
To not forget the poor that Jesus died for - and to carry on the ministry of Compassion Acts to the world.
A Christmas Meditation
Click here to listen to The Heart of The Father
Narrated by: US Marine Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Evans
Written by: Chris Mason
Orchestrated & Produced by: Tina N. Bolinger