Imagine community leaders who don’t go to your church coming to you and asking for you to start a new church/campus in thier neighborhood? It’s happening! Read and find out how…
The whole Ferguson family had a great time this past weekend serving along with CCC’s Community 4:12 ministry at the Brady Elementary Gift Mart. It was a wild success! CCC people gave away over 2500 gifts to make sure that at least 600 families had Christmas in this east Aurora neighborhood. There was a terrific article all about the Brady Elementary Christmas Gift Mart in the Beacon-News.
The mission of Community 4:12 is “Uniting Christians to Transform Communities”. C412 is our advance servants into communities that are different than much of CCC. In the Brady Elementary neighborhood it is about 95% Mexican immigrants. The Christmas Gift Mart is just one of many ways that we are trying to serve the community. This idea we got from Lawndale Community Church. We collect gifts from all eight of our Community Christian Church locations (and by the way – our Carillon location which targets 55’s+ gave the most gifts per capita…good job!). Then we sell the gifts to the people in the Brady neighborhood for a tenth of what we bought it for. The ability to buy the gifts for their kids gives these parents dignity that a handout might take away. And the money we do get for the gifts we donate to Brady Elementary School to be used however they most need it. Love it!
This partnership with the Brady Elementary school has gone so well that the principal is now encouraging us to open a new CCC location in East Aurora!! Isn’t that what you want – to serve in such a way that people are asking for a new church/campus in thier community!
Kirsten, I had to share something with your from the Brady party. A young father was waiting while I wrapped his gifts for his three young sons. His English wasn’t good, but we managed to converse, and he was very friendly. He asked how we got the money to buy all of the wonderful gifts. . . did we sell cookies and cakes? I told him that the families from our church all went out and bought them. He asked again. . . where did the money come from. I told him we used our own money. He was amazed, and asked “why you do this?” I had to take a moment to come up with the right response, and finally told him it was because, for us, Christmas is a time of giving, and we were doing this to show the love of Jesus to the families at Brady school. I also told him that giving made us feel happy. He said, “Is good. Is nice.” I noticed when he wrote the tags out for his gifts, he didn’t write “from Santa”, or “from mom and dad” on them, but he wrote “from CCC”. I explained that he could write it from himself, but he very seriously said that he wanted his children to know that the gifts came from our church. Many other parents, I noticed, did the same thing. I think I got more out of Saturday than any of the Brady families! Thanks for the opportunity.