Preparations for coming Christmas are for most of us in full swing! Christmas, the celebration of Gods coming to us on the earth through Jesus. God couldn’t have made the meaning of ‘Immanuel, God with us’ any clearer then by sending Jesus to us.
In Redeemer, this month has been full of many opportunities to share the love of Jesus to people in the city. Moments where through serving and loving people we got to show Immanuel, God with us.
This happened when we went out on the streets and met someone we had never met before who started sharing about his life that was very hard at the moment. He was open for prayer but also needed medical care and some practical help with groceries to provide for him and his wife. Some of us are still connecting with him to help out as far as we can and for the last Sundays this person has been coming to the Sunday meetings and shared how he experiences God’s presence in the meetings.
Women have been coming together to meet in the refugee camp for creative activities and others were able to help out a family in the refugee camp who moved into their new house. The football group of men at the refugee camp are continuing to build friendships through their weekly football evenings and some of them share of their hardships as some of them face situations of needing to go back to the country they fled from.
The foodbank in The Hague provides for many families in The Hague who are weekly in need of food supplies as they don’t have sufficient to live from. As a church we had been blessed with a generous amount of money from the gift day that is partially used for our ‘Love The Hague’ ministry. We decided to set money apart to buy products for the foodbank and donated that to them to hand out before Christmas.
Last week we had our last time of cooking at the Salvation Army for 2017. The team had put a real effort into cooking a great meal and baking nice desserts to bless the people as the weather is so rough these days for those on the streets. One of the homeless man who helped us was actually a former chef who helped and instructed us amazingly.
Some others from Redeemer are involved at the charity Stichting De Haven. There Christmas was celebrated with people from many different churches, nations and backgrounds, including many women who work or have worked in the red-light districts of The Hague. Talking to many of them gave such evidence of ‘Immanuel, God with us’ in their lives. Women who sometimes still are fighting to live a different life but not giving up, others so outspoken about their trust in God for their lives.
Whether we meet with people on the streets, in the red-light districts, refugee camp or homeless shelters, we see people for whom Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, came to earth. To show the earth His love. And sometimes we get to see or be a little part of Jesus showing His love to those around us.
Christmas is around the corner! Our prayer is that the greatest celebration this Christmas will be that the city of The Hague and beyond will know that Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, has come, bringing good news to all.