Angel Tree Report
It has been fun to see a new Christmas outreach ministry thrive here at Evergreen. At the encouragement of Randy and Donella Schmidt, we took on Angel Tree, with the hope of being the light of Christ to families in our community who were separated due to incarceration. We didn’t know for sure how the congregation would respond, and with most of us having never seen the ministry “in action”, we didn’t know exactly what to expect. Thankfully, Randy and Donella knew what to expect, as they had led this ministry at a previous church, so we had excellent leaders to show us all the way.
Some of the work was very visible. So many people grabbed tags, bought gifts, and then dropped them off at the table in the foyer. In fact, every tag on the tree was taken during that very first week they were available! That was amazing! Then on December 10, a group gathered after church to wrap the gifts, working to make each gift beautiful.
But there was also a lot of “invisible” work that you should know about, as well. We didn’t simply invite the families to come pick up the gifts. Rather, there were quite a few teams of two who volunteered to deliver the gifts. Those teams had to coordinate with families and caretakers to set up a time for gift delivery. But in most cases, the teams weren’t just dropping off gifts. Each delivery was a unique and special ministry opportunity.
Each team asked permission to be able to come in to the home to give the gift, then to also share the Christmas Story, to give each child an age-appropriate Bible, and to present the gospel. One of the reports from a delivery team talked of giving the gift to an adorably busy 5-year-old, who was delighted to receive such a wonderful gift. There was also an opportunity for this team to minister to the caretaker, to hear some of their story, and to be a blessing in the name of Jesus. Another delivery team talked of sharing the Christmas story and the gospel to a 17-year-old young man who had never heard either!
What a compelling ministry we have been able to be involved with this year. We fully intend to continue this ministry as our primary Christmas outreach for years to come. It was so great to see so many different people who were able to be involved in making this outreach a success! Thank you to all who were able to join in, and we look forward to an opportunity to serve our community in this way next year, as well.
Pastor Ryan Donovan