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Sharing Food and Loving Hope at Christmas

Although the holiday may have passed, Christmas is a great opportunity to share the love of Jesus to friends and neighbors. Through a true multi-organizational collaborative effort, Ten42, a community center in Málaga, Spain, shared the good news of the gospel to friends and neighbors in December 2020.

Ten42 food pantry

“Ten42, a ministry collaboration of churches and mission organizations, wanted to do something special for their beneficiary families for Christmas,” says a Ten42 partner. “Each week, the team was giving out close to 190 packs of food to their regular clients, and 130 more to emergency cases. The food, however, was the same, week after week. While the team works hard to give ‘service with a smile’ and let their guests know they are loved and seen, even with COVID restrictions, they wanted to make sure that everyone received an extra touch of love at Christmas.”

A Team Effort

Ten42 is a collaborative effort, and all of the Christmas projects were collaborative ideas made possible by collaborative funding. This teamwork not only stretched across organizations but even countries and ages, people working together to make this special gift happen.

Painting the Story of the Three Kings

“An OC member living in Málaga asked an OC MK who had previously lived in the area to do a painting depicting the journey of the three kings. Another member of the Ten42 team wrote a story about the journey of the wise men in search of the hope of the Promised One,” says a Ten42 teammate. “It incorporated different prophecies about the One who was to come and tells of the hope they found in finding the baby Jesus.”

Ten42 food pantry
in Arabic

Translating the Story of the Three Kings

Reaching beyond Spain, an OC worker in Ukraine has a translation company that translates into over 120 languages. “At Ten42, there are 18 different languages spoken,” says a Ten42 partner. “They asked the translation company to translate the story into nine different languages. An OC-UK teammate translated the text into French and Arabic. An OC associate in Málaga did the Spanish translation, and a Sepal Brazil MK did the Portuguese translation. All of them were brought together and printed up with the heart language of each person printed on the front, over the painting.”

What an amazing reflection of the body of Christ, in multiple languages and cultures, coming together to share the good news of Jesus’ coming to earth!

Memories to Cherish

On Tuesday, December 15, the day the Ten42 team gives out emergency packs to people who are undocumented or ineligible for other programs, they decided to use a special donation from a church in Wisconsin to buy extra food. That day, they would turn no one away. (In the past few months, they were passing out 130 bags each week — and each week they would turn away sometimes up to 20 people because the food had run out).

They also used the extra gift to buy special foods not normally included in the bags — things that would be appreciated by different cultures — beets (for making borscht), couscous, corn flour for making empanadas or tortillas, chocolate milk mix, and other fun treats. Every family was able to choose treats that would make their Christmas special.

Also, the traditional Christmas gift sweet is a “turron,” a big candy bar. Every family received a candy bar with the Christmas card — the painting with the story of hope. 

“In addition to food, every family with children in the home received a gift bag with a craft inside. In Spain, January 6 is ‘Reyes,’—the Three Kings’ Day. It is the time when families give and receive gifts. Children ask for gifts each year, and it is the Kings who bring them (not Santa Claus),” says a Ten42 partner. “Each family had a bag with a craft to make three kings, as well as kings’-shaped candies. With the craft, there were instructions to read the story, do the craft together as a family, and send photos of their project. Several people took the gift bag in tears, saying that without it, they had nothing to give their children for Kings’ Day.”

The Best Christmas Gifts

One recipient shared this testimony:

“My name is Isabelle, and I am 10 years old. I read the beautiful story again, about a trip that was made that was full of hope because they would meet the Savior of the world. Thank you for sharing such happiness with each child, and for such a nice activity. I am Venezuelan, and I wanted to represent my country in the Three Kings by using the colors of our flag, and the eight stars, taking advantage of the opportunity to ask the Kings for peace and health in the whole world and for freedom in my country.” 

The families were so grateful. “Some had waited for three hours in line, in order to receive an emergency bag. It took nearly two hours to give out all the bags, allow them to pick out their special foods, as well as take a small little gift from a basket. In the wait, not one complained,” says a Ten42 teammate. “There were Christmas cookies and juice and Christmas music playing — and through it all, the Hope of the Promised One, who was with us, whose Word went home with each and every one. His Word and His love are the best Christmas gifts they could receive this year.”

Pray with One Challenge

  • Pray for the team at Ten42, as they look to better serve a growing need in the midst of the pandemic. The team has been stretched thin because new volunteers and team members haven’t been able to join in (because of pandemic restrictions). Pray for strength, wisdom, resources, and above all unity and love amongst those on the team, even in the midst of challenging situations. 
  • Many people during the Christmas holiday took gospels, tracts, and other outreach material. Pray that the seeds sown, especially at Christmas, will bear fruit in the new year. 
  • Pray for those that Ten42 reaches — with food, with prayers, and with spiritual conversations. Pray for the proposed launch of Bible reading groups and spiritual discussion groups. 

Holistic Ministry One Challenge is an international agency committed to bringing God’s transforming love and hope to all people. We identify and work to meet the physical, emotional, and social needs of individuals and communities, providing opportunities for deeper level relationships and deeper levels of change. These ministries include education, medical services, agricultural development, community development, and small business mentoring … helping local people to build a healthy community.

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