One of the important outreach ministries of Centre Cristià in Majorca is known as ‘MINISTERIO DE ESPERANZA’ (Ministry of Hope) – a ministry to the Homeless of Palma, the capital city. Every Wednesday and Thursday evenings teams of three or four go through the downtown areas of the city. They know the parks, plazas, the alcoves, where their ‘friends’ will be. Sandwiches and pastries have been prepared. Beverages and plastic glasses are packed in backpacks. Prayer is an important part: Friday evening prayer service, ‘Intercessors’, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, early morning prayer and before heading out to the streets – asking for God’s direction and blessing as these men and women touch the lives of needy people.
Christmas is a special time of giving. There are gifts under the tree, Secret Santa gifts, Gift exchanges, Cookie swaps, Missionary packages mailed out as well as cards, photos, greetings to many. We all love to give at this time of year. Besides our immediate family we think of friends, neighbors, the pastor and his family, school teachers, even the mail carrier. Isn’t it true? – “God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” (NLT - 2 Corinthians 9:7)
Several weeks before Christmas, folk of Centre Cristià are encouraged to bring in Christmas goodies – turrón, chocolates, Spanish sausage, fancy cookies, candies, cheeses – special items for the homeless. I decided to go for a walk in the neighborhood on Christmas Eve. As I passed the church there were groups in the lobby preparing to go out! I couldn’t believe it. Later they would meet with their families, but at 8:00 p.m. they were thinking of their friends on the streets.
The women in the church on the north of the island decided to get together. “We can make something for these people that live in the street. The weather is turning cold. You all know how to knit or crochet! Let’s meet at my place and make hats.” That was announced by my Swedish friend. What a surprise to see so many women with knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarn!
Along with the usual sandwiches and soft drinks, along with the ‘Christmas surprises’, the homeless received a hand made hat! They were so happy! Look at their faces!
Proverbs 14:31b “Whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (NLT)
Proverbs 19:17 – “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” (NLT)