Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Christmas in November
I’ve never seen anything like this. Our church has a mission conference once a year where missionaries who need financial, emotional and spiritual support come in for several days. This week 5 missionary couples and their children are here.
And I can tell you Southside Baptist Church is blowing these folks away. Before the week is done, the members will have made their financial commitments to these folks. I have no idea what our church gives financially to missions but I can tell you it is a lot. We have lots of folks and lots of resources and a good chunk goes beyond the good ole’ US of A.
I am usually not in town on a Tuesday night but I was last night. And I’m very glad I was there. It was Christmas in November for these five families. And watching it is enough to cause the tears to start running. We raised $17,000 just for their Christmas gifts.
As you can see (photo above) the missionaries and their families are seated on the stage with a few gifts for each family. They open those and the doors open and more gifts are brought down the aisles. The pianist is playing everything from Jingle Bells to Here Comes Santa Clause to Joy to the World. The crowd is clapping louder and louder as more gifts are intermittently brought down the aisle.
There are several standing ovations that take place as gifts such as cooking sets, laptops, desktops, Bibles, books,and all kinds of clothes are opened and held up for all to see.
The crowd watching gets emotional watching the visiting missionaries get emotional. And the applause gets louder and the energy gets stronger.
Last night I was reminded that it is much more fun to give that it is to get. To see a group of people get completely overwhelmed by the kindness of others is something I won’t forget for awhile. One of the missionary wife’s is a sister to one of our friends in the church. Our friend, Dale, is on my left. (I have written about her before). Her sister (shown here) and brother in law,Bailey and Brian,are preparing to move to the Philippines in the Spring and fulfill their calling.
We would all do ourselves a favor if we choose to blow people away in our worlds with kindess that overwhelms.
We will be better for it. And the world we live in will be a much better place to live.
Christmas in November at Southside is something special.