This past Christmas was the first time since 2019 that we have been able to have Parents’ Store and our families were so excited! When the children walked in with their family and saw our volunteers dressed up in various costumes it brought joy to their faces and broke down barriers that may have otherwise been difficult to break. It had been a hard year for all of us and the evening full of smiles, laughs, and great conversations was just what we needed. Each family heard the Gospel wrapped up in the Christmas story throughout the evening.
It is always a delight to shop with the children allowing them to pick out their own gifts for their families and to wrap them their selves. Some pick the first thing they see. Others have to look at everything two or three times before making a decision. And still others have a hard time remembering that they are choosing gifts for others not themselves. But are we not the same way!
Christmas Store almost did not happen if it was not for a few of our board members working some long hours one weekend. Judy (board member) and Phil Weaver from Orlando, FL and Dickie Edward (board member) from Barlow, KY worked diligently just a couple of days before the first Christmas Store setting it up. This year we were behind due to flood ministry and it seemed like an impossible task with just hours before the first store of the year. However, the Lord brought it all together.
This year we also added a new component to the Christmas Store which was new coats for each person. We installed lights and the clothing racks we built for the thrift store into one of our GAP trailers. We continuously filled the trailer with new coats and allowed our families to pick out coats after they shopped for toys. It was a huge blessing and another way to share with them how God loves and cares for their entire family. We are so grateful for those who sponsored children and partnered with us so we could share the Gospel this Christmas with many families through Christmas Project 2022. Thank you to Lawndale Baptist Church who ministered alongside us at the week of Christmas Stores, and volunteers from Paintsville FBC, Fitzpatrick BC, Prestonsburg FBC, and Grace BC who served at Parents’ Store. Please be on the lookout for how your church can partner with us at Parents’ Store this July through a new way called “Christmas in July for GAP”. Move details coming soon!