Hope And Hampers - The Message

Even though the Christmas decorations have been packed away for another year, stories of how lives were impacted through outreach events and hamper giveaways keep pouring in.

Over 2,400 hampers packed with food and treats were given away to Community Grocery members through events and services with partner churches. More than ever before.

In Wigan, the Community Grocery team gave out hampers to bless their members. Wanting this to be something extra special they decided to do this as part of a free pantomime, hosted by Way, the partner church. 400 members came along to watch the panto and they heard the gospel, and received their hampers as well as an invitation to the church’s carol service. The grocery team, also put a Christmas coffee shop event and that another 250 members came along to get hampers. When the carol service took place they were blown away as 750 people, many of whom were grocery members, came along, and many responded to the gospel.

The following week, the team were able to give out more hampers to members in store. As they did this one lady started crying. She said to Emily, the manager, ‘I’m in a desperate place and don’t usually pray but this morning I did, and now you’ve given me a hamper. It’s a huge blessing.’ From here the team have been able to chat to her about Jesus and start building a friendship.

In Telford, the team decided to not only fill their hampers with shelf and long-life items but to add meat, vegetables, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings too. Each hamper was given out at a carol service that 1,100 people came along to. As members heard the gospel, 100 responded and 61 have signed up to be part of courses like Alpha where they can discover more about Jesus. Each person that responded was invited to a lunch at the church over the Christmas break. Many came along and have been coming to services at the church ever since.

When one member came to collect her Christmas hamper, she brought her partner with her. Having battled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years, he was in a dark place, and feeling that there was no escape had tried to take his own life the week before. As they received their hamper, the team were able to chat to the couple and share the gospel with them. Immediately, the guy knew that what he was being told was true and that he had to respond to it. Since then he’s been coming to church every Sunday, and is over a month drug-free. He’s also decided to go on a retreat to overcome his alcohol addiction too.

These are just three of the stories coming in about how lives are being changes as we reach out and members hear the good news of Jesus.