*This post was originally published on December 15, 2017. We’re reposting it today as a reminder of the wonderful things God can do through the Christmas Collective.*
The Christmas season tends to be a time of stress and anxiety for me as I juggle ministry responsibilities, time with family, friends and managing daily life.
It’s difficult to remember that Christmas is for me, too, as I seek to love and serve those around me. When our staff leadership team decided to bring the Christmas Collective back to Kearny High School, I was genuinely excited to help create a warm, welcoming and joy-filled space for our church and community.
Once our plan was in place, the invitations went out, and I had a special prayer request that my cousin, Janice, would desire to attend. Janice, similar to all of my family members, grew up in a Buddhist household and has no experience of church or full understanding of Jesus. Needless to say, it was a long shot that she would actually come and participate. Knowing that she’s a young working professional who struggles with finding community and meaningful connection, I shared our vision for the Collective; that our desire is to bring together our collective resources to do good for others as we celebrate the Christmas season. She was blown away by our objectives and gladly accepted my invitation.
Two songs into the concert, Janice could not stop herself from crying. She kept saying to me, “I don’t know why I’m crying, but I can’t stop!”
I knew the reason why; the Spirit of the Lord was alive and active and He was pursuing her heart through the beauty of art and creativity. When the concert ended, she asked me why I believed in God and I had the opportunity to share my testimony and the gospel with her. I was in tears. She was in tears. I have spent the last decade praying for this exact moment.
As I shared this story with other staff members throughout the weekend, we were all encouraged and reminded that this is exactly why we do, what we do.
We want to be a place where people from all walks of life can feel welcomed and encounter God in an unexpected way
I am truly grateful for Flood and for everyone who helped make the Christmas Collective such a wonderful experience for my cousin. I am sure we will all be seeing her around more often!
About the Author:
Abby came to faith through Flood in 2006, began to volunteer with our children’s ministry in 2007, and became our Children’s and Families Pastor at our San Diego Campus in 2011!