St. Andrew’s Kirk Brings Christmas to Children in Bain & Grants Town
For about 120 children from the Bain & Grants Town area, Santa came early this year, bearing gifts and bringing smiles. They were the children hosted to a Christmas party at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk where they sang carols, played games, drank and feasted on food compliments of McDonald’s, collected gifts and got in the festive spirit of the holidays.
“This event is a highlight of the year for the children, many of whom look forward to the annual event,” said Earla Bethel, Clerk of Session at the Kirk and President of DanBrad Ltd, the parent company of McDonald’s which has sponsored the annual Christmas party since its inception. “For me this is something very special. We are able to give back to the community that we serve and see the smiles on these youngsters’ faces just to have a meal with all of their contemporaries. For some of them they may not have another special meal for this year, so it’s gratifying to know that by partnering with The Kirk, we give a hand to these kids.”
No strangers to the Kirk, the children, ages two – 17, are an integral part of the church, some of whom attend Sunday school, participate in various personal development groups and have been recipients of the benevolence of church and visiting missionaries throughout the year.
“Though we have about 120 children attending today, we’ve got gifts for 200 children because there were a few who would not have been able attend so we didn’t want them to miss out,” said Rev. Bryn MacPhail, Senior Pastor St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk. “Gifts were primarily supplied by Sandals Foundation but we also have donations from Evolve Functional Fitness, St. Andrew’s Kirk and the Inner Wheel Club of Rotary East Nassau.”
While the party kicked into high gear, the cause for the celebration was not to be overshadowed. Partygoers were reminded of the reason for the season as Jude Vilma, Intern Youth Pastor, shared a message of Jesus Christ peppered with inspiration and hope with the story of Joseph and the coat of many colours. The children were encouraged to rise above any adversity they face and not be afraid to walk in their purpose.
Pastor Bryn MacPhail was credited with increasing the number of Sunday-schoolers at the church.
“When Pastor MacPhail joined the church, the Sunday school had five children,” shared Bethel. “That number has since grown to over 100. He would go into the neighbouring communities, play basketball with the youngsters, meet the parents and fostered a relationship with them. He genuinely loves and cares for these children.”
First-time attendee Carltonique Smith said the gift she received was on her Christmas wish list. “I wanted a doll for Christmas,” she beamed. “I can’t wait to play with this.”