This past Saturday, December 15th, was one of our first outreaches that was planned, organized and executed by us! – the trainees of YWAM Carlisle’s first 9-month DTS. We had been planning it almost since the very beginning of the DTS, so needless to say, this made it a very exciting day for us!
Originally, our plan for the outreach was all over the map. We had a ton of ideas, but nothing that stood out too much at all. Then, of course, as with every good story, we let God step in, and it kind of took off from there. Basically, our heart behind it was this: To bless, encourage and engage the local community through interactive creativity and conversation. That was the mission statement, and that paved the way for our new ideas.
So last Saturday, we spent two hours of the afternoon in the City Centre, in the midst of Christmas shoppers and a multitude of seasonal festivities. We set up a table to serve free coffee, tea and hot chocolate to any who wanted, enough to serve up to 200 people. We also made two boards, painted with Christmas trees and decorations that asked simple questions like, “What do you want for Christmas?” and “What is Christmas to you?”. It was really cool to see people come up to write on the board their answers, and with the hot drinks being served alongside it as well, it definitely opened up great opportunities for conversations throughout the day.
Also, we felt like we wanted to really be a source of encouragement to people, so with the board and the free hot drinks, we also made up about 200 little gift bags, containing sweets and encouraging notes in them. They were all personally hand-written, and prayed over before being handed out, and we continue to pray that even small acts of kindness like this can draw people to Jesus.
All in all, many people responded, and we really enjoyed being in community with people in such a way. It’s always fun to be able to answer the “What are you doing this for” question with simply, “No reason at all! We hope you feel blessed/loved/encouraged today.”
So after many hours planning, organizing, preparing and executing, we can safely say that our DTS’s Christmas Outreach for December 2012 was a success, and we had such a great time! Pray that God continues to work in the heart of this city.