Have you ever been really cold? Like so cold that you couldn’t do anything besides think about how cold you were? Thankfully, in Central Texas we do not have too many extremely cold days, but there are at least several a year that are pretty miserable. When I was in middle school, I went on a camping trip in January and the temperature got down to 19 degrees. I spent a sleepless night in my tent praying that God would make it warmer or at least make morning come faster so that I could go home and get warm.
The truth is that for a number of us, cold experiences often come as forms of recreation rather than out of necessity. We go skiing for a family vacation, campout for a weekend over Christmas break, or brave the elements to watch our favorite teams compete. For a number of people in our own community though, winter brings with it much more pain and difficulty rather than pleasure.
Each year, a number of children in our community head to school without having quality winter clothing or a coat to wear. Imagine walking to school or waiting for the the bus to in 30 degree weather with no coat to keep you warm. Eventually, you might get sick or decide that it is not worth braving the cold anymore. Unfortunately, this is a reality for kids in our city every year. In addition to children going to school, lack of warm clothing affects the elderly, and those who simply do not have enough money to make ends meet during colder months.
At Vista, when we say that we “Love God and Love People” we know that this implies that we do something to care for those in need in our community during the winter months. 1 John 3:17 tells us that if God’s love is within us, then we simply cannot look at needs in our community and do nothing about them. This is why at Vista we say that we are “For the City”, and strive to passionately meet needs for people in our community.
On Saturday, December 8th we will be hosting our annual Christmas For the City event during which we will be looking to provide coats, blankets, and heaters for 600 people in our city. By helping to keep these families warm we are able to remind people in our community that God loves them, and that there is a place for them at Vista. You can help make this event happen by purchasing a new coat for someone your size and bringing it to Vista throughout the month of November. You can also text: “Local” to 84321 and donate $40 to provide items for one person or $125 to provide items for a family of four. Additionally, you can participate in distributing items to families in need by volunteering at the event on December 8th. We are so excited love families in need and keep our city warm this December, and hope that you will join us as we put action to what it means to love God and love people.