“It is a chance where God can expand our heart of compassion for people. This is what makes Angel Tree Christmas unique from other programs.”
Smythe Street Cathedral is a church in Fredericton that has been actively involved in local prison ministry. Last year the church sponsored over forty children in the New Brunswick region to receive a Christmas gift on behalf of an incarcerated parent through Prison Fellowship Canada’s Angel Tree Christmas program.
Chad Billington, an Assistant Pastor at the church, shared with us what makes Angel Tree Christmas unique.
“At Christmas time, there are lots of opportunities to give to food banks or clothing banks and lots of other programs – which is needed and we should do those things. How Angel Tree is different is that it allows you to make personal contact. It gives you a chance to possibly make a relationship with someone.
A sponsor being in touch with an Angel Tree family is perhaps the initial connection that family has with a church. It is perhaps the first planted seed that a family learns of a church that cares enough to do something for them. Angel Tree families learn that they are not cut off from other people in the community. They learn there is a church that would welcome them and would care for them. It also speaks to the inmate – that there is a church on the outside that cares enough for his or her family.
I think on top of all that, it offers an opportunity for people in the church to be stretched. People have a chance to meet someone they usually wouldn’t meet and see how someone else is coping with their situation.
It is a chance where God can expand our heart of compassion for people. This is what makes Angel Tree Christmas unique from other programs.”
Are you willing to let God expand your heart of compassion for others? Restore hope to families separated by incarceration by registering to be sponsor here or making a financial gift click here to the Angel Tree Christmas program.