International Ministries

Christmas with the King’s Kids

December 20, 2010 Journal
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“I have an idea for ministering to the kids in the favela just down the hill: a children’s choir. The Lord has laid this on my heart … we need to do something!” Suzy is a gifted choir director with a heart for mission, and her enthusiasm sparks others into action. “Excellent, Suzy!” I replied, “How can we make this happen?”

We praise God that folks in our church family are catching the vision to work with God to make a difference in our neighborhood, our nation, and around the world. It is often a struggle to help church members “get off their seats and into the streets,” but that is exactly what Jesus calls us to do.

Suzy, along with a ministry team of about 20 people from our church, met weekly with about 40 children from the favela (slum) area in our neighborhood. We rehearsed the music, shared a Bible lesson, worked on social skills, and ended with a light snack and fellowship time. The kids in the Coral do Rei (The King’s Choir) learned many important lessons this year. They discovered that they are deeply loved by God, that Jesus gives us the strength and resolve to resist the ever-present temptation of drugs and violence, and that as the King’s Kids they are to treat one another with respect and courtesy.

Last Sunday, the kids presented their Christmas program. The children sang about Jesus, who is “the real reason for Christmas.” This is news to some given the conflicting messages that bombard us at this time of year urging us to “show how much you love them” by buying jewelry, the latest MP3 player, or (our personal favorite) a new car (!).

One of the most poignant moments happened when escorting two sisters home after the program. They led the way up a narrow path between squatter’s homes assembled with recycled aluminum roofing, pieces of wood, and tangled wire. The girls proudly showed their mother the gifts they had received: a baby doll and a jump rope. Their mother looked me in the eyes and gave me a precious gift of appreciation, “Muito obrigada – my girls look forward to their time with you every week.”

Feliz Aniversario a Jesus! (Happy Birthday to Jesus!)

Ann and Bruce