Christmas post by our Embrace Coordinator, Lauren:
Christmas has finally arrived. Trees are being decorated. Nativity plays are being performed. Parties are being hosted. Carols are being sung. Gifts are being exchanged. Families are enjoying each other’s company. This is a sweet season as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. A King was born to live among his beloved people so that he could one day save them. What a beautiful birthday we get to celebrate at Christmas.
And whilst it is completely nostalgic and exciting to engage in all of the cultural traditions mentioned above, I was honoured to participate in the most loveliest Christmas Party I have ever experienced last Saturday. Embrace hosted its first Christmas party and invited Befrienders and their new Embrace friends to be a part of celebrating the Christmas season. 10 survivors of human trafficking joined their Befrienders for our gathering on Saturday, along with 15 children!
One befriender and her Embrace friend came an hour early to decorate the venue. Red, green, and gold colours illuminated the room to welcome the guests. Food brought by befrienders and
Embrace friends lined the tables. Candle and card decorating ensued and everyone squeezed in to participate in the cutting and gluing. Another befriender and her Embrace friend painted each face of every child present. We played games. We sang a Christmas carol. We gave out presents.
Women that might have been alone, struggling for finances, longing for normality, and wanting to
give their children a happy Christmas – felt the joy of community, friendship, food, music, and
laughter for two sweet hours. They gratefully received the party, where I would have taken it for
granted as “normal”. Their hearts were beaming as they went back home.
Several times, throughout the party, I stopped what I was doing to just watch. Watch mums laughing with their children as they chased them in a circle saying, “Duck, duck, goose”. Watch new found friends holding hands and singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. Watch ladies from different religions and cultures and backgrounds chat around mince pies and cupcakes. Watch Christmas in action. Jesus’s love for the world being displayed through friendship. What a beautiful display of the same love he showed at Christmas over 2000 years ago. He loved us. And we show others his love by loving them.
He loves survivors of human trafficking. And what a joy to be part of loving them this Christmas
season. Thanks for all who made the day possible – both Befrienders and those that have
contributed financially. It would not have happened without you! If you want to be involved in
Befriending with us, please do get in touch!