“If it weren’t for you coming today, many of us would not have a Christmas this year.”
The young woman whispered her appreciation to one of 13 CWC “elves” who traveled to bring the holiday to women and children residing at Union Gospel Mission.
Loaded with over 100 donated toys*, 30 gift boxes filled with a scarf and jewelry, holiday treats, cookies to decorate, and wooden ornaments to personalize, we caravanned to UGM’s Hope Center on Cass Street. Our goal was to meet women of UGM where they were … as they were.
Almost 20 residents trickled into the chapel. After introductions and a devotional, laughter replaced the quiet as 20 women circled up and handed off boxes to the RIGHT and LEFT while we read the story, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Then Came the God Moment…
…the moment in which women opened the box that landed in their hands at the close of the story. The moment that each woman ooohed and aaahed her delight with the piece of jewelry and scarf whose style and colors happened to perfectly match or complement her clothing, complexion, or color favorite. An example: the pale pink necklace found in the box opened by the resident who wore a pale pink faux furry coat. Who, but God, could orchestrate that moment on such a large scale?
Cookies, candy, and fruit waited in the dining hall. The joyful noise of Christmas carols filled the air. Children painted wood Christmas ornaments. Cookie icing smeared across small faces who ate their creations as fast as they made them.
For a couple of hours in one afternoon, the light of Christ pierced the darkness, and joy filled the room.
… to all who made this day possible:
*You, who donated toys for the children.
*Pat Gordon, who donated all the scarves and shared her love of art by bringing wooden ornaments and paints.
*Betty Sanderson, who shared her love for ironing by pressing all the scarves.
*Kathy Reeh, who collected, sorted, and matched the jewelry sets.
*Dolly Adams and Betty Sanderson, who boxed and packaged all the gifts.
*CWC “Elves” who brought cookies, cheer, and love to the UGM residents: In addition to Dolly, Betty, Pat, and Kathy, lighting up the room with smiles and hugs were Audrey Brock, Gloria Ashby, Dorothy Patterson, Tammy Crane, Mandy Brock, Delanna Hess, Angel Willeford, Alisa Evans, and Cheryl Millard.
*Dolly Adams, our chair, who first envisioned and organized this mission moment.
We captured more pictures here.
Next Mission Opportunity
Would you like to participate next time? Mark your calendars for July 11, 2019, when CWC will reach out again to women where they are, as they are at Union Gospel Mission. You’ll make a difference. And the experience will make a difference in you.