Last Friday’s Christmas Club & Boutique was, in a lot of ways, indescribable. This would become the biggest Christmas Club that North OC YoungLives had ever hosted. With nearly 100 teen moms and dads attending with either pregnant bellies or one to two little ones in tow.
Entertain me for a minute or two…please, just think about it…nearly 100…ONE HUNDRED (!!!) teen parents joined us last Friday night!!! They came from Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Westminster, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Buena Park, Orange, and Fountain Valley.
Each of the families were fed a delicious home cooked meal, had Christmas portraits taken by a professional photographer, and they sat at beautifully decorated tables. There were childcare volunteers to cuddle, play, comfort, and love on their little ones. They had the opportunity to shop from a “teen room” of clothing and accessories as well as to shop for items for their children. They were each given a raffle ticket for a chance to win brand new toys, gift cards for themselves, iPads, make up kits, and more. And they left that night with a “goodie” bag that had makeup, a Children’s Bible story book, and a Target gift card.
There were also close to 100 volunteers that pitched in to make the night happen. From the family that collected & sorted ALL the Boutique clothing and accessory donations to another family that rented a truck to haul borrowed clothing racks from one location to another and return them the next day. A set up crew of 25 that prepared everything for the 6 pm gathering. Our friends from a life group who annually cook the Christmas meal showed up…even though they were in the midst of a pretty big heartache. Countless drivers and mentors got the young families safely there. The bakers baked dozens and dozens of cookies, a sweet music duo sang, the crazy game & skits team did their thing. Nearly 30 childcare volunteers had open arms and welcoming smiles. And when the evening came to an end, another ministry came to pack everything up to pass on to others the next day.
In the midst of all those wonderful love gifts described above that the young families were treated to, there was a 15 to 20 minute moment in time that became the turning point of the evening and for some, the turning point of their lives. At this particular moment, Myrna played a video with a couple clips from the Titanic movie. Seriously, it got so quiet in that room. Soooooooo quiet. The clip portrayed the intense love story between Jack & Rose. Myrna went on to share that deep down within we all want our own love story. In her words, “We all have a desire in us to be fully loved, fully known, and fully understood. That is how we were wired by God, the creator of this universe.” She continued on explaining to this Q U I E T room of young parents how only Jesus can fully understand us and love us unconditionally. And that He wants each and everyone one of us to accept Him as our own love story. “I don’t ever want to get so focused on jingle bells, Christmas presents, ornaments and trees, stockings, red and green, decorations, and basically the accumulation of more stuff that I forget what it is all about. That Christmas is here because Jesus loved us so much that He was born as a baby to Mary and Joseph and lived, breathed, and walked this earth because of His great love for us.”
Myrna went on to pray over the room and lead a general sinner’s prayer. Then she asked
for the teens to be brave. To raise their hand if they prayed that prayer for their own life. And in the midst of the quiet, on Friday, December 15th, 2017, hands were raised and ultimately, lives changed. Generations of lives. A love story unfolded last Friday night.
Merry Christmas, Colleen Drew (Area Office Administrator)