Candy Canes and Christmas

A gift for late night shoppers

Vicky Stuart | Wed, 11th Jan 2017

On a December evening before Christmas, amongst the hustle and bustle of late night shoppers, Rob Earl arranged for a group from Jubilee to go into Middlesbrough town centre and share a Christmas message. Vicky Stuart, one of those that signed up, tells of her experience...

'When I first heard about the outreach in Middlesbrough, handing out candy canes and Carol service invites, I thought that this was a really great idea and was interested to know more. I wanted to help out and begin to show God's love to the people of Middlesbrough but at the same time, I was so nervous as I had never done anything like this before. I was thinking… "what if someone asks me lots of will I answer them?"

On the evening it was much more enjoyable than I anticipated, although the first few people I had approached to ask if they would like a candy cane refused to take one.  However, after a few rejections, people started to come forward and accept them and this was the chance that I took to offer them an invite to the Carol service at the same time. I found that if I could get the people to stop for candy then I could open up the conversation about the Carol Service and then possibly about Jesus too. I was actually really surprised as when I asked most people if they would like to take an invite, they actually accepted the invite also. Only a handful of people turned an invite down. One person said she couldn't make it but could she still have an invite to give to other family members, while others were asking where and when it was on as they were interested.

Although I hadn't done anything like this before, in my opinion, it worked well and I really enjoyed being involved. It was lovely to be part of a team seeking to share God's love at Christmas.  My daughter Amber really enjoyed handing out the candy canes as well and wouldn't come back with me when my younger daughter woke up and we needed to go back to Hope House, preferring to stay out with others to hand more invites out!

When Raj announced on Sunday that as far as he counted, there were at least 9 people at the Carol Service from the outreach, I was so thankful to God that He had worked through us. I felt so blessed and hope and pray that God brings these people to Jubilee for more than just the Carol Service and that perhaps they would have read the message attached to the candy cane telling of God's love for them.'

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