Hugs in a Bag

The excitement in the room was palpable this Sunday as the Grade 5 and 6 kids gathered in small groups for the first portion of the service. “Today? Are we putting them together today?” They asked over and over when we would be starting the final piece of their two month long project.

Since January, 56ers have been collecting, donating and taking care of an assortment of backpacks, purses, socks, mittens, toiletries, toques, jewelry, makeup, snacks, hot drinks, Tim Horton’s gift cards, scarves, and small Bibles. This project was dubbed “Hugs in a Bag”, hoping that in assembling care packages for those in need, we would be sending a hug and the love of Jesus to whomever these bags were delivered to. The children were so excited to be part of this project right from the beginning. The kids started bringing items in the very first week and each Sunday the piles continued to grow!IMG_4741

Watching the stack of stuff come together over the past couple months has been so encouraging. We were especially thrilled to see families rally in this last week, as there was still a large need for many smaller items, such as toothpaste, Tim’s cards and deodorant. We got in touch with the 56ers families and were overwhelmed  by the, “I can get 5 toothpastes,” and, “Sure, I’d love to pick up some gift cards,” messages!IMG_4739

We have so clearly witnessed the love of Christ flowing from these children throughout the “Hugs in a Bag”project. Children have been giving from what little money they have, they have brought in items they know they don’t need to give to someone who would use it, and we have witnessed them feeling the excitement and joy that comes from seeing what God is doing and joining Him by loving and serving the Lost, the Last, the Least, the Little and the Nearly Dead. As they filled and prayed over each bag and the person that would be receiving it, it was clear that God is bringing up a generation of people after His own heart.

When all was said and done, we had 30 purses and 20 backpacks full of things we take for granted every day, blanketed in prayer, and delivered to two local organizations dedicated to working alongside those who are living on the streets.IMG_4758

Jesus and His never-ending, never-failing, steadfast love is alive and well in the hearts and hands of 56ers! The next generation has had a taste of the fire and the light that comes from serving those God loves, and our prayer is that they will “press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling” them (Philippians 3:14).


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