Christmas @ Khatib

by Chew Wei Wei . Jan 01, 2010


“The best part about Christmas is the giving of love! Dreams can come true if you just believe!”


“Christmas In The North” at Khatib Plaza started as an initial spark of Evangel to bring our Christmas celebrations beyond the walls of our church to the community in Yishun.



December 19 came just like any other day. But for our organising team, it felt like we had walked thousands of miles after many weeks of planning, preparation and hard work.


Everything was in place. We had kicked off the event with a Children’s Art Competition in the morning with many children busily engrossed in creating their masterpieces that now hung beautifully at the void deck converted into an art gallery. The 2,000 goodies bags adopted by Evangelites for our community were all packed and sealed neatly. The white tent was up with a colourful “Christmas In The North” banner on stage as how we had envisioned it. The stage props were ready with a little manger, animals, a tree and a bench; the sound system was up playing Christmas Carols in the background and publicizing the event; the white plastic chairs were arranged in rows waiting for the audience to take their seats; the dancing tubes waving in the air; the pop corn and the candy floss machines fluffing and popping; and back in church, the children were having one last practice before their actual musical performance.


Accompanying all these was the heavy downpour that did not look like it would stop before the commencement of the programme at 5pm. The rain complicated even the simplest work that the team needed to do. Because of the rain, the team looked somewhat downcast. Nevertheless, we had come so far and it was time to pray and put our faith in God.


Just when everyone got busy with the final preparation around 4.20pm, the rain came to a sudden halt as if a tap of running water was shut off completely. We were thankful to God for the rain because the weather became cooler which was perfect for our event and everyone was greatly encouraged!


Getting all the big preparation work done was only a small part of the celebration. Our goal was to bless the community and what would a celebration be without the people. Just when we were wondering if our efforts in going to the blocks, climbing the stairs and distributing the invitation flyers would be in vain, we saw children and adults streaming in to fill the five hundred white plastic chairs, even before our programme started.


Getting to know the crowd was like getting to know a new friend. It took a while for the crowd to warm up. I was sure as the crowd walked into our tent, surveyed the environment and finally took a seat, they were probably wondering, “Who is Evangel Family Church?”


But as we greeted them repeatedly and sincerely from the depth of our hearts and assured them that we were there to bring Christmas joy to the neighborhood, we slowly gained their trust to participate in the activities. The children rushed to the stage spontaneously to play the games. Be it a group-dance, swinging the hula-hoops, playing the yoyo, passing the balloons or answering the quiz, the people actively participated and moved together with us! It was wonderful to hear the crowd echoing the name “Jesus!” as the answer to one of our quiz questions for the musical. What an awesome sight to witness the togetherness between the audience and the organizers!


More importantly, kudos to the children from Evangel for their excellent performance! The children were the stars of the show and their hours of practices were rewarded! They played a key role in encouraging the audience to join us in the celebration. Our children of different ages, with the youngest being a 5-year-old, sang Christmas Carols, acted and danced in the Christmas Musical, “Believe.” They also accompanied Ernest in his very inspiring violin recital on “Heal The World,” a Michael Jackson’s song.


As our programme progressed, more and more people came to join us in our celebration. There were crowds standing, packing the sides and the back surrounding the entire tent. The 2,000 packs of goodies bags were all distributed!


Evangel Family Church also awarded the winners of the Art Competition in all three categories from Pre Primary, Lower Primary and Upper Primary with attractive prizes of Popular gift vouchers. As the people received their goodie bags and as our guest-of-honor Ms Lee Bee Wah, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC and Adviser to Nee Soon South GROs, picked the winner of our mystery prize, a metallic purple iPod Nano 8G, the whole celebration ended on a high note!


As the MCs thanked the organizers, Evangel Family Church and Nee Soon South Zone D RC and their team, the people strolled home happily with their goodie bags, refreshment packs and prizes. Judging from the smiles on their faces, I believed that their Christmas afternoon was special.


Was this how it was like when Jesus walked on earth and how the people were drawn to Him as He spoke and taught? There are still so many people in the community that do not have the opportunity to know God's story. Maybe through this Christmas In The North, they will have an introduction to this story.