Christmas for so many will come and go and the only thing that has been altered is their bank account and blood pressure. However here in Vietnam, the Church has seen fit to use the Christmas season as an opportunity to reach those who have never heard the Gospel. We were able to participate in one of these events last week due to the kindness of several Korean business men, who live and work in Saigon, and donated gifts and goodie bags to the Church to distribute.
The Church saw this as a great opportunity to spread the message about Christ and His birth and was able to get approval from the local authorities to have a public outreach. Over 200 people showed up who had never previously been to Church or even heard the Gospel message. The Lord really blessed that night with a mighty showing of His gospel in many forms from dance routines, dramas, song, and the preaching of His word. It was an amazing time of Christ-centered outreach that blessed the people in every area. It was estimated that 30 people or so prayed to receive Christ at the invitation.
After the event, we were able to hand out the over 200 bags (donated by the Korean businessmen) consisting of food, shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brushes, flip-flops, silver ware, soap, back packs, and candy. It was truly a blessing to all of us to see the kids running around as though it was Christmas morning, and the adults looking through their bags in total disbelief over generousisy of any individual.
I have been blessed to be in ministry for over 12 years and I can remember some amazing times from the Christmas celebrations I have seen over the years, especially when we were blessing those who are less fortunate. I remember the trip to the projects that first Christmas when I was a youth pastor and seeing God do some miraculous things in the life of the youth group and those to whom we ministered. I remember going to Mexico and seeing extreme poverty like I have never seen before and watching God bring true joy in the midst of it. I remember year in and year out as a Pastor giving away Christmas toys for hundreds of families in our area and sharing the gospel with everyone of them. I will also remember this one. For it never ceases to amaze me how rich the Gospel message is when it is accompanied by generous love. When the Maker is honored the power of the Holy Spirit is welcomed, and when He is welcomed much is accomplished. Read this from Proverbs: