We are convinced that Christmas time at CCA is one of the most joyful times of the year in one of the most joyful places on the earth! During the last week of the semester, we decorate Christmas cards, carol to our nursing home friends, open gifts from generous volunteers and partners, and reflect on Christ’s birth and the significance and power of Emmanuel.
Each year, the Preston Center Personal Trainers Gym donates a cool piece of CCA swag along with other extremely generous gifts! The morning of our Christmas party, the students walk in to see what Santa (PCPT) has left for them. This year, each student and staff member received an awesome, limited edition CCA rain jacket (see pictures!). For Christmas, PCPT also raised money to create a student crisis relief fund for CCA to use for student care such as crisis counseling, mental and dental care, prescriptions, food, and shelter. Their partnership has consistently and abundantly blessed us and has truly taken CCA to a level that we only dreamt of! Thank you PCPT!!
Our annual Christmas party is hosted at Watermark Community Church. We play ping pong, foosball, and pool, and get to spend time loving on each other before we leave for Christmas break. After we wear ourselves out playing, we head upstairs to enjoy a feast prepared and served by our wonderful volunteers led by the amazing Ms. Linda Green. Not only is the table set for royalty, but the food is delicious and bountiful, and will honestly barely all fit on one plate!! After our stomachs fill up with chicken fingers, mac & cheese, and Blue Bell ice cream, we head next door to find beautifully wrapped gifts set out with the names of each student on them. Just like Christmas morning, we sit in anticipation for what could be inside each of the boxes!
This year, our faithful volunteer and Bible teacher, Matt Moss, shared an encouraging word about how, just as we give and are given generous and thoughtful gifts for Christmas, God graciously gives each of us specific and individual gifts that we can use to serve and encourage others and further His Kingdom. With the help of the other CCA Bible teachers, he called out, one by one, the specific gifts that God has given each of them. It was such a joy to see the students light up when they were being recognized as well as affirm what was being called out in their classmates. After he shared and prayed over the students, we opened the gifts!
Family style, the students went one by one opening the gifts in front of them, their faces lighting up and encouraged by the fact that someone they didn’t know got them a gift that so perfectly suited them. Anyone in the room could sense the gratitude and joy that students were feeling!
We are so thankful for all the volunteers who so graciously gave of their time, energy, and resources to make this Christmas party happen! Not only was each student and a few graduates “adopted” by one of our incredible volunteers, but the organizing, planning, and executing was done by volunteers. Special shout out to Katie Knott who spent hours and sent countless emails to make the Christmas party so successful! We could not do this party without you all!! Thank you for making Christmas at CCA full of Christmas joy!