Whether you believe in Santa or not, I have dined with him on multiple occasions (at least the one that lives here in Central FL and has donned a few billboards for Z88.3). And it is our friendship and fellowship together that gave me the opportunity to ask him two years ago if he would visit with the homeless of West Orange on a Tuesday night in December, allowing them to sit in his lap and look into his eyes and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.
This December will be his third year at the Matthew’s Hope Christmas dinner. You would be moved by the tear-filled eyes of the tattered-clothed, scraggly-haired, thinner-than-normal homeless man staring into the compassionate, tear-filled eyes of St. Nick. Sanaa’s broad shoulders and jelly belly and jolly laugh dwarf the giant hardships for the moment. And a child of God is loved by the God who came near through a red-suited servant.
You can help make this happen. This November and December, here are two ways that the local church families who are being the church together as the Church of West Orange are participating in our annual Advent Conspiracy:
In November, stop by the Roper YMCA and pick up a Samaritan’s Purse brochure or grab one from our worship gathering. Then, with family and friends, according to the instructions, pack one or two or five shoe-box-size boxes and drop them off by November 16th to be shipped out all over the world for Christmas delivery.
In December, help Matthew’s Hope to give groceries to families with kids and shoes to men and women. Matthew’s Hope gets a significant discount on both shoes and groceries, so they are asking for PUBLIX gift cards in any amount to be donated for their purchase of the groceries to be distributed AND VISA gift cards in any amount to be donated for their purchase of sneakers in appropriate sizes. Drop these off all month through Christmas Eve at Sunday gathering or at Matthew’s Hope.
Grateful to be growing in unity around mission as many local churches being the church to West Orange County and beyond! Hopeful we will conspire we’ll together this Christmas.