Over the last couple of years I have been blessed with the opportunity to help with the Angel Tree Prison Ministry at my church, New Covenant Christian Church (NC3) in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The Angel Tree Ministry provides Christmas gifts for the children of parents who are incarcerated. Our daughter organized the event at the church last year; my husband and I attended to help out where we could. It was a team effort and was supported by our Pastor, Scott Frazier. You can read more about last year’s Angel Tree event here.
Lunch was served to the children and their caretakers who attended the event with them. Our Youth provided games and face-painting and helped present gifts to the children from their incarcerated parent. The gifts were provided for the children by church members that chose their “Angel” from the Christmas tree in the sanctuary. Those attending the party to see their “Angel” receive their gift were touched by the children’s joy and appreciation. Everyone enjoyed participating in the Angel Tree Party and were blessed by the opportunity to make the children’s Christmas a little brighter.
This year I helped contact the caretakers and parents of the children which allowed me to see some of the hardships faced by the families of the inmates. I was overwhelmed by the number of children affected in our small community. According to the information on the Prison Fellowship website, 2.7 million American children have a parent in prison—that’s one in every elementary school classroom. I am truly blessed to have been a small part of this annual event that brightens the lives of these “Angels” at least for the day.
NC3 Angel Tree Volunteers
Our church was blessed by the youth and children of NC3 on Christmas Eve through a Christmas play, “What You Did For the Least” humorously based on the verses of Matthew 25:36-40. You can watch the short play below.
Matthew 25:36-40 New International Version (NIV)
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
’37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
About Angel Tree
Angel Tree is a Prison Fellowship program that gives parents behind bars a way to restore and strengthen relationships with their children through a tangible experience of God’s love—especially at Christmas. Find out how your church or organization can get involved in this life-changing ministry at https://www.prisonfellowship.org/.