“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2

In my last update, one of the things I asked you to pray about was our Advent Pageant on December 2nd, and particularly the youth who were to be helping out as leaders. God was faithful in answering your prayers, with the young people really stepping up to the challenge and helping to make the event a great success. They arrived early and helped to set up the costume stations, so as each of the children came they were welcomed and helped to dress up as angels, shepherds and wise men. The young people were very conscious of the children on the march, making sure that they were safe when crossing the road at different points, helping them sing along with the songs and then making sure the every child was looked after at the community festival after the march. The face painting station was almost completely manned by these young leaders, with just three adults from the team helping out. They also helped to run the other activities and centre games, and the festival brought people together who don’t normally interact with one another. It was a day filled with laughter and joy on the streets of Trench Town, a community that is currently under a State of Emergency so has 24 hour police and army presence and checkpoints at every entrance and exit to the community.  

In fact one of my personal highlights was the soldier who took the part as one of the innkeepers. With his military post surrounded by children in costume, he was approached by Joseph and Mary, asking if there was any room at the inn. With his assault rifle held across his chest and a big smile on his face, he recited his lines: “No, I’m sorry, I don’t have any more room.” (you can see some video of this moment on our Facebook page) The police were likewise very happy to take part with one office in costume as an innkeeper and others using their phones to record the moment.

Having people to carry responsibility (labourers in the harvest) is always our greatest need, and this verse is my daily prayer. More than half of the volunteers who carried all the responsibility for the Pageant were young people who had grown up attending our weekly programmes. Some of them are as young as 12, had only graduated from Kids Club in September, and are now in the youth club and eager to be part of the team. These young people also helped get all the costumes organised before the Pageant, did everything I mentioned above on the day of the Pageant, and have also been helping to wrap and fill Christmas Boxes for all the children and young people (including themselves) to receive a Christmas Gift. Even the guy who operated the sound system had been an 11 year old in the basketball programme 18 years ago! Seeing those who have been part of the programmes taking ownership like this, and seeing God answer the prayer for labours in the harvest through the young people of the community itself is one of the most satisfying things to see in our work. So thank you for your prayers and please keep praying this verse.