2014 Winter Assignment Highlights – Cadet Charlene Barrett
I was very excited to get my Winter Assignment directions as I was staying in Winnipeg to assist with the Christmas ministry throughout the city. I was privileged to assist Weston with kettle shifts and to join with the church community for Sunday worship services, Heritage Park with Community Care Ministries, Southlands with hamper packing, and Weetamah with Toy Mountain distribution.
It is a privilege to help spread Jesus’ love and some Christmas cheer. It is always a blessing to see joy on the faces of others. While serving on the kettles there were many that smiled as they placed their donation in the kettle while telling me that The Salvation Army does great work and they wanted to support that work. I love to visit Seniors Residences with the Community Care Ministries. It brings me joy to see a smile on the faces of the residents as we sing Christmas carols and spread the message of the good news of Jesus’ birth. Filling food hampers and assisting with toy distribution is a true blessing. There are many families that require assistance to help them get through the Christmas season. It is without a doubt a blessing to be able to help out in just a small way by providing food and toys. This could not take place without the assistance of the church community and the surrounding families and business community. There are so many people that lend a hand and donate so much during this time of the year. God does indeed provide a blessing through each of these acts of kindness.
A highlight for me was helping to wrap Christmas gifts at Weetamah that had been chosen by parents for their children. It was a special ministry to take part in. The families were quite grateful for the amazing gifts that were donated that they could put under the tree for their little ones. They were even more surprised that volunteers had given up their time to be available to wrap their gifts for them. Christmas joy was in the air and again my heart was blessed by God’s provision through the work of others.
This assignment brought a challenge to me and a reassurance of the calling that God has placed upon my life. It was easy to observe in all of the avenues of ministry that there are many people that are facing challenges in their life. There are many hurting people that need to know that God loves them and that there are those that will practically assist in sharing that love. In many ways, it is the way we intentionally reach out and assist them with the love of God in practical ways that they will realize this. God has called the Church to be set apart and to be a transforming influence within the communities that they serve. All of the Christmas ministries do just that. God can use us to reach out, to assist others in whatever need they may have, and to spread the good news of Christ’s love. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). This Messiah came to be the Savior of all men. Christ loves all of humanity and we are called to continue the work He began on earth to help bring in the Kingdom of God which is good news for all nations.