Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Love Meals

Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35

What a special time to share the love of Christ at our Christmas Love Meals. This past weekend we served over 700 people as we hosted three different meals for the refugees and the homeless. The hall was brightly decorated with lights and trees and stars, and the room was filled with warm cheer as many hands worked together to bless those who live out on the streets of Athens.

The festivities began Saturday afternoon as we served a gourmet chicken meal to the Greek homeless people. In addition to the warm lunch, we entertained them with Greek Christmas carols and worship songs and the story of Jesus’ birth. After the meal, the guests were served traditional Greek sweets and fruit and each were given a gift as we said goodbye.

Saturday evening the crowd swelled as the hall was filled with Farsi speaking Afghan families. Students from the American Community School entertained with Christmas songs and as a special treat, Shawn Skinner performed a fire dancing routine. The audience was enthralled and we then explained that Jesus is the Light of the World. The children received toys, the families a food bag and blanket, and the young men a coat or sleeping bag.

Monday evening our final love meal was for Arabic speaking people. The hall was full once again. Christmas cheer sang out from the stage as a band played and a skit was performed that told the story of Cain and Abel, and the sacrifice that is acceptable to God. We followed this by sharing how Jesus came to earth to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. After the dinner and desserts, the music continued and spontaneous dancing erupted around the room. This was perhaps the liveliest party of all, and a fitting end to the weekend.

Thank you to so many who helped make these festivities possible, from the coordinators, to the cooks, to the decorators, to the countless volunteers who served and cleaned up and to those of you, our friends, who gave sacrificially to provide for these gifts and meals. A very special thank you to Helping Hands Ministry for the generous donation of numerous toys that we shared with happy children!

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