Bridge-builders to share God’s love with new people.
‘I do not want to eat this very first gingerbread men cookie that I made. I will take it home and show it to my child.’
On October 26, 2017, a group of 16 Mandarin-speaking people, who are new to Canada, gathered in the church hall of St. Matthias and St. Luke. Lillian Sheng, one of our parishioners, came to teach them how to make gingerbread man cookies, and Allison came to help. As this was something quite new to many of them, they were very interested to participate and make the cookies. They had a lot of fun. Many of them participated, from making the dough to cutting out the cookies to decorating the cookies. In this session, not only did they learn how to make the gingerbread men which is something ‘Canadian’, but also learned English.
At St. Matthias and St. Luke, we have been running English conversation groups to reach out to the Mandarin-speaking people. After building a base of participants, we are now actively bridging the new people into the parish. One of the things that we are doing now is having parishioners serve as bridge builders, and go to the outreach programs to build relationships with the new people to share God’s love with them. Both Lillian and Allison enjoyed this session. Lillian said afterwards, ‘I found great pleasure in seeing the new comers’ awesome smiles as they cut out the gingerbread men cookies and decorate them beautifully.’
After this session, some of the new people stayed for Bible study. Somehow in the discussion, we talked about the cookie-making session, and they were impressed by what happened. We came to the conclusion that this amazing piece of work was done out of love. Love is the very thing that touches people’s hearts. There is no barrier to love. Language is not a barrier to sharing love with others. Lillian and Allison do not speak Mandarin. But they are able to share God’s love with these Mandarin-speaking people. We will continue this important ministry, to have more bridge-builders sharing God’s love with the new people, building relationship with them and inviting them to church.