Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! – Ephesians 3:20-21
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our COC family! As the leadership of COC reflects on and processes the blessings we’ve received in the past month (and year), it is hard not to feel overwhelmed by how much more He has done than we could have ever asked or imagined. The Lord has done His will both by His own hand, through us, and through all of you- we are so blessed by your gifts of time, finances, donations, and prayer. During the Christmas season we really get to see these provisions be used in such a special way as we celebrate the birth of our Savior with the children. We are so excited to share our past month with you!
We started off the month with a great week of program as we gave our K-5 children sticker advent calendars to help them remember what it is we are in such great anticipation for- the birth of baby Jesus! The next week we made popsicle stick Christmas tree ornaments to take home as everyone tried to manage their excitement for the big party in a few days. Then before we knew it the wrapping party was here, and we were surrounded by a Christmas explosion! The COC Christmas workshop was in full swing in the AUMC Youth Hall with sounds of Christmas music, the snipping of scissors, and the rustling of wrapping paper! This was so much fun to organize and participate in, and we are so thankful to everyone who came and to Beach Pizza for donating dinner for our volunteers! It was delicious!
And now we were ready to celebrate! Before our “elves” came to wrap gifts Friday night, an army of volunteers was busy setting up the rooms for the party on Saturday. Thank you so much to Miss Becky for helping to organize over 75 volunteers and to everyone from Grace Christian Fellowship, First Christian Church of Seminole, and BLDG 28 who contributed in any way to make this wonderful day possible. Our party was in the beautiful Family Life Center at AUMC-thank you so much to Aldersgate for allowing us to use this amazing space! When the day was through we were overjoyed to have had 25 of our 29 families participate in the event and join us, 21 of which came with adult family members. It was so amazing to get to engage with parents and family members, and share the love of Jesus with them! In planning this event, we were careful to consider that many of our families may rarely get to enjoy a holiday party together, as a family, where they can be served and make sweet memories. This is what we set out to do this day—shine the light of Jesus into the homes of these families through our service, during a time that for most is so joyful, but for some can be that of extreme hardship.
When our families arrived, we ushered them into a festively decorated photo room where they could take some fun family photos. These photos and the rest of the photos can be viewed on our Facebook page-there are far too many to fit on these pages! After photos the families were checked in, given name tags, and were escorted to their own tables. Our guests were then led to decorate gingerbread houses (a HUGE hit with both parents and children!) and get festive with some face painting. When all had arrived, we heard a special message from Pastor Randy Evans about how we should be hooked to Jesus as our tree just as ornaments on a Christmas tree.
And finally the moment everyone was waiting for…LUNCH! After the sweetest blessing by one of our second grade girls, we had a fantastic meal of lasagna, garlic bread, veggies, salad, and so much dessert. While we were served we sang Christmas carols led by the GCF School of Rock (with one of our very own COC kids in the group!). And finally, we were ready to distribute gifts to the families. To say this was special doesn’t seem to cover it—the looks on the children’s faces as they left with their gifts were just priceless. And that was all made possible by the work of the body—some donated for shoes, others sent gifts, others sent funds, others gave of their time and talents.
2019 has been a year of learning, blessing, and leaning on Him. We are so thankful to the Lord for touching all of your hearts in the way He has touched ours for these children. We have received several generous donations this December to meet our needs for both Christmas and our vehicle insurance, and couldn’t be more humbled by how the Lord has touched your hearts for these children as he has ours. Thank for your faithful support this year, and as the verse reads in Ephesians, for allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you that in Christ Jesus God may be glorified throughout all generations! God bless you all!
Prayers: For health concerns—Mr. Steve, Mary & Jake Myers, Catherine Hall, Mike & Lana Bracewell, Jeff & Karen Allen, Larry & Alsena Kelly. Please pray for our students to make good choices during the break from school.
Reminder:Our annual Quilter’s Luncheon & Auction is just around the corner, February 29th, 2020. Call us to host a table, donate a quilt, prize, or auction item, or buy tickets to attend! See you there!
In His Service,
Justin & Shannon Tellez
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