“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:35
I remember how the observance of Halloween around our Castlebridge community was so different this year than it was last year. First of all, the preparations we made last year were just phenomenal. I recall how we went all out decorating the gym at the school like it was a one-day VBS. We led everyone in singing and played games where prizes were given out to the winners. Our church members heartily donated chocolates, candies, and even little toys imagining what it would be like for even the kid at heart to receive such treats.
This year, we decided to change things a little bit and set up camp so to speak at the driveway of Bro. Kane’s house strategically located right within the Castlebridge neighborhood. This time we did it more simple. It’s amazing to see how simple can be just as effective – or even more than the more elaborate approaches we do in ministry. Along with treats, we offered free face painting for the kids and hot chocolate, which was a big draw for them. As the kids got their facial treatments, parents and guardians took to the free coffee.
One of the kids happily remarked that, “This is the best house ever!” One parent observed, “Oh, this is nice. This is different.” A couple of the parents even remembered the event we did during this time last year. Some even said that they will be coming this Sunday to come and visit our church. Those are exactly the kind of impressions we want to make. As a church, we need to let our neighbours know that we exist and that we are a part of their community. If what we did last year was an attempt for them to try and get to know us, this year it is an attempt to try and get to know them – and I believe that we did just that.
We may not have drawn in huge numbers but those that did come to us saw something different, something appealing. Aside from these, my own personal satisfaction came by way of seeing our church volunteers, especially our young people, serving in this manner and serving joyfully at that. I got to see their confident smiles as they handed out candies, reached their hands out, invited families over from the cold streets to pause for a while and enjoy brief but hearty conversations over candies, coffee, and cocoa. Everyone worked together to set everything up. Each one had a part to play, and we all paused after having run out of candies to fellowship as a family; to celebrate in the satisfaction that we’ve touched lives that night through candies, coffee, cocoa, and colouring countenances.