Christmas is a time to celebrate that God initiated the world’s ultimate peace project by sending the Prince of Heaven to earth for the purpose of bringing salvation and reconciliation between God and mankind! It’s definitely the time to declare joy to the world!
As a church, this past Christmas, we arranged various initiatives and events where our purpose was exactly that: to declare joy to the world. To be agents of peace in the most practical of ways for individuals, who we’ve built relationships with throughout the year through our amazing CityCare teams.
We waged peace by putting on the beloved Angel Tree again in the foyers across all our locations – Copenhagen, Malmö and Aarhus, and it served as the link between all we did. Through the Angel Tree, we enable the church to bring in gifts for vulnerable members of the community. As you all so generously participated by returning gifts under the tree – 300 gifts in total were donated – we were empowered to be part of hosting four Christmas Dinners across Copenhagen where we got to hand out the gifts in a personal way that gave dignity to the individual and communicated “we care” and “we see you”.
The Aarhus Angel Tree supported the needs in Copenhagen this year, which added great strength! Next year we can’t wait to bless local people in Aarhus through the Angel Tree over there.
At the Christmas dinner for the refugee fellowship, we gathered 70 people all in all and it felt like one big family as we in layers danced around the Christmas tree, ate ‘ris a’ la mande’ and the kids and teenagers each had their own program including a fun treasure hunt. The highlight was seeing the kids receive the Angel Tree gifts and literally scream with excitement when seeing what they’d received. We were blessed with some extra gifts that we drove to Sandholmlejren with to gift to the kids celebrating Christmas at the asylum center. Another favourite was hearing the good news that a father and son that have been separated from their mum/wife and sister/daughter for two years because of war would be reunited this January! 20 refugees also came for our Christmas Family Show!
At the nursing home, we hosted 20 elderly people and loved honouring the staff at the nursing home with gifts as well as celebrating a resident’s birthday and honouring the CityCare volunteers for their service this year with honour certificates. When we announced we would throw the residents a Christmas dinner, a woman broke into tears as she was so touched that we would do that for her!
In the Night Light Café on Vesterbro, we had 45 trafficked women inside to enjoy Nigerian Christmas food and abeautiful sing along led by X-factor winner and gospel singer, Laura Kjærgaard. All Angel Tree gifts were given and received with joy!
At our Christmas dinner for the homeless, we gathered 25 people. It felt like a tribe because it was people we’ve been meeting with regularly through our street team since our Easter initiative. We certainly do not despise the days of small beginnings of our reach, as we know the Lord rejoices in seeing the work begin! This was a win for a first Christmas dinner filled with fellowship, fun and food, and the Mobile pay donations towards gifts consisting of winter clothes were very useful for our friends.
The reason for the season
At all our gatherings, we took the opportunity to share the reason for the season – Jesus – and for the homeless it was no exception. We had one homeless man show up at our Christmas Family Show, which was exciting. He wanted to go show all the pictures from the show to his friends on the street!
In Malmö we loved being able to bless a meeting place for unaccompanied refugee children and teenagers with 80 of your gifts. We also gave out gifts to 20 women at a women’s homeless shelter.
A handful of internationals were hosted in personal homes for Christmas Eve too. This was truly a Christmas to remember where we once more made our tables longer, our hearts wider and extended the reach of our hands reach.
Thank you for being a part of making a difference – let’s do it all again next year and impact even more lives!
Happy New Year!
CityCare Team Leader