During the month of November and the first part of December, under the direction of Paula Fears-Fischer, the Deacon of Outreach, members of Trinity Lutheran International Frankfurt, collected “gently” used coats. These coats were collected in order to be handed out by local charities. Paula wrote that Trinity members donated:
- 30 Men’s coats
- 27 Women’s coats
- 13 Children’s jackets
- 10 Baby snowsuits
- Diverse Winter accessories: Hats, scarves, mittens, gloves
- diverse articles: men’s and women’s Winter clothing, sweaters, baby clothing
On the 14th of November, a portion of the items was given to a Homeless Men’s Shelter run by Caritas. On the 5th of December, a portion was given to Haus Lisbeth, a shelter for abused women. Finally, a portion was given to the Johanniter e.V., a group somewhat like the Salvation Army, who hosts the coat drive in downtown Frankfurt on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Eve, 15 members of Trinity attended this event. The event was set to begin at 11:00 AM, but when the Trinity group arrived, they found that so many homeless people had come and so early, that the Johanniter e.V. actually had to open the coat drive at 9:30 AM! So by the time the Trinity members arrived, other volunteers were already working to hand out the coats. The Johanniter e.V. also provided a hot meal for the homeless. Due to regulations regarding food distribution in Germany (you must have a license) the Trinity members were not able to help serve.
However, the group from Trinity, says Paula, “brought our own clementines and peppermint candy with attached Bible verses in the shape of a fish. They were gone within three minutes.” The members of Trinity did not let this stop them, though! They quickly bought more clementines from a nearby fruit market and handed them out. The group also decided to find another way to share the Gospel as they handed out the clementines, so they began to sing Christmas carols as well. Even though things did not go exactly as planned, they found more ways to share the love of Christ in word and deed with the homeless in the area!
Marla says, “Trinity hopes next year to be able to have their own area at this event in order to continue to share the miracle of Jesus’ birth and the Gospel of Christ.” Currently, the group plans to again collect coats, but also hand out their own gift boxes with toiletry items and other small needs such as socks. They are beginning the planning already, to see how they can continue to serve in this way. They hope also to organize the caroling with help from Trinity’s Director of Music, Dr. Jerrode Marsh, who was also at the event.
- Please pray for those who were served by this event, that they may find warmth and relief soon.
- Pray also that the Gospel proclaimed to them through acts of Mercy and through the caroling might take root and grow in them.
- Pray for Trinity as they plan for next year’s event, that they may find a way to participate and proclaim the Gospel to even more people!
- If you would like to see a small clip with news coverage of the event run by the Johanniter e.V., you can click on this link and go to about the 13:49 mark. It is in German, but there is video of the many people, clothing items, and volunteers who attended the event.