Today we had an exciting day in Vina Alta! We started out with our regular kids club. The children were able to hear the Christmas story, play games and practice singing various Christmas songs. We had invited their parents to come hear the special songs. As the 4:30 service time approached there were no parents to be seen. Only a handful of people had come into the church. We decided to take a chance, and dismissed all the kids. We gave them a printed invitation and told them to return in five minutes with their parents. We were a little concerned that they would leave and not return! The children went running in every direction.
Within a few minutes families started appearing from everywhere. In less than ten minutes the building was full with every seat occupied. Parents, grandparents and interested neighbors made their way into the building. The people were attentive and cheerful. We were able to have a tiny program with the children. I was also able to bring a Gospel message. I preached on how Jesus revealed four important things during Christmas: The person of God, the power of God, the pardon of God, and the Provision of God.
In the end we had a special social with hot chocolate and panetone. Each child present received a CD with children's Bible stories. All total we had 60 people present, 25 of which were children.
Many promised to return in the coming days and weeks. We trust that a seed was planted in the hearts of many.
Then a few minutes after we finished cleaning up after our service we received a phone call on our cellular phone. It was our pastor calling from our home church in North Carolina. We were patched into the sound system and were able to update the folks on the progress of our new ministry. They sent Christmas greetings and prayed with us over the phone. It was a wonderful Christmas eve that we will not soon forget!