On Christmas Day the Melton Adventist Church plant brightened the lives of 21 residents from their community who have been doing it tough – and made it one of the best Christmas days for the 15 helpers involved. “People came alone, but no one was lonely,” says Pam Paterson, one of organizers. “”Everyone was relaxed. It was not like charity, it was ‘family’ sharing Christmas together!” The party was held at the community Barn, a beautifully restored blue-stone building, where the church plant meets each week.
Along with a great meal, there was carol singing, special music, and gifts for each person. The gift packs included DVDs, small books, and some choice chocolates and other delicacies. “Each gift bag was individual and special,” says Barry Eales, church planter.
Guests commented that 2008 was better that 2007. One young person helping, said, “Pretty cool!” All agreed they had made new friends – and more have offered to help and be part of another Christmas at the Barn in 2009.
Christmas at the Barn started in 2007 and has attracted City Council and media attention. The Melton Express Telegraph featured the event, complete with colored picture. This church plant has gained respect for God’s values of compassion, humility, justice and service in their community.