Three years ago Vreedenhoop Wesleyan Church adopted the local primary school. The first step in the process was the establisment of a feeding program that first served fifty children and today serves one hundred and twenty-five. The fire started there, but soon more wood was added with the idea of presenting each child a gift at Christmas. How was this going to happen with 800+ students in the school? No fear - it happened. Hard working Sunday school teachers solicited businesses in the first year for donations and the members of the church gave and wa-la, every child had a smile on their face and a gift in their hand. Now, in year three, the children of the Sunday School department and their teachers underwrite the entire cost and give time to purchase gifts, wrap them and sort them by grade and gender.
On Thursday, December 6th, Christmas came to Vreedenhoop Primary School. Now, I can say that, and not mean just a gift, as many attribute Christmas only to the act of giving a gift. When church leadership spoke with the school leadership to offer this idea they also proposed to share the message of Christmas. On Thursday, Minister Genifer Husbands, shared the message of Mary giving birth to a son, to all the 1st - 4th grade students. Voices of all ages bellowed out, Joy to the World and Hark The Herald Angels Sing. The place then went quiet as every head bowed, every eye closed and even hands went in a reverent prayer position. Then, teachers helped keep their students in order as every child came forward and was given a gift.
The scene was repeated for the 5th and 6th graders except that Bro. Leon talked about how gifts show that we love a person. So when we are given a gift it is out of love and then tied in how God gave a gift to us all because he loves us all. It was a short talk on how we can model love and unity to everyone because God's love does not know race or religion.
One girl bounced past me and joined her friends, squealing out the words, "I got Jewelry!" Boys, wound up their trucks and raced to see whose went further. And younger children showed me their cooking sets and smiled when I asked if they were going to bake some cake. There were other children who carefully put their gift in their school bag to carry home for Christmas day. This year the church even presented teacher gifts and the Head Mistress shared with me how wonderful this is for the children. The relationship with the school has been strengthened and God's light is shining bright. The light continues to shine all year round as the third part of adopting the school is hosting a weekly Bible Club where songs are sung, a Bible story is shared and over a 100 children attend regularly.
Rev. Angie Hemric
Partner Missionary, Caroline's Promise
Personal Blog: bridge1014.com <http://bridge1014.com/>