In December, an OM team, in conjunction with the evangelical protestant churches of Toulon (southern France) and the surrounding area, participated in a Christmas outreach organised by Les Semailles & Creation. The large hall of the Zenith Oméga in Toulon was open all day on 17th December, presenting a variety of stands related to Christmas: paintings based on the story of the nativity, a life-sized model of key Bethlehem scenes and a Bible stand. The day finished with the musical “Lily” (www.semaillespaca-lily2011.com), whose main theme is the discovery of the secret of the Book of books, “the Bible”. At the very end of the musical the audience was able to sing with the actors a song that tells of the real reason for Christmas.
The previous week, a small OM team helped prepare for the event by handing out flyers, posting signs in shops and other public places, and also by participating in workshops for children held in the Christmas village. Throughout that time contact was established with people interested in hearing more about faith in Jesus.
There was one member of the OM team who devoted 3 weeks of December to the project. She helped with publicity for the event on the street, in shops and in the market of Toulon. She also assisted with setting up the model village and wrapping presents for the French Red-Cross Operation “One Child, One Present” which was organised for the event.
The day of 17th December was a magnificent opportunity to proclaim the meaning of the first Christmas. In total, about 800 people passed through the model of Bethlehem and there were approximately 2000 in the audience on the evening of the musical. The coach drivers for the Semailles accepted the invitation to see the show, as well as several volunteers from the Red Cross. At the end, one of the spectators wrote: “It was with great pleasure and joy that I attended the musical: beautiful production, full of colour and hope. May God reveal Himself now in the hearts of big and small”. That is also our prayer. The seed had been planted, knowing that “it is God who makes things grow” (1 Cor 3:6).