What was the most memorable part of the recent Christmas season? Was it receiving the perfect gift? Seeing friends and family? Perhaps it was a grand Christmas dinner, or seeing the look on the faces of children or grandchildren as they enjoyed all of the joy and laughter that comes with the holidays?
For Pastor Sam Smith of Michigan, the most memorable moment of the season came not from something he received, but from the gifts he gave to families with a parent behind bars.
“Delivering Angel Tree gifts to the children of incarcerated inmates was my Christmas’ highlight,” Pastor Smith says in Worldview Church, an online resource for churches and pastors produced by the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. “Few things seem as pleasing to the Lord as seeing a child realize that she is cared for in this world, especially when the evidence points otherwise.”
Pastor Smith believes the delivery of Christmas gifts to these children on behalf of their parents has long-lasting – even eternal – impact. “[T]this Prison Fellowship ministry is a culture-impacting project that touches the lives of prisoners, spouses, and their children, along with chaplains and local church members,” he says. “This is the first year my church participated in actual deliveries, but it will not be the last. This next Christmas, I commit myself to recruiting more of our county’s churches to share in this Kingdom-building privilege.”
For those who took part in the Angel Tree Christmas program this year, we at Prison Fellowship offer our gratitude. Thanks to you, over 360,000 children were assured they were not forgotten by their incarcerated parent this Christmas. More importantly, they were able to see a glimpse of the love their Heavenly Father has for them. May God use these small acts of mercy and kindness to transform lives and cultures, proclaiming the Good News of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
Registration for Angel Tree Christmas 2013 has already begun. If you would like to join Pastor Smith in “kingdom building,”