When it was announced several weeks before Christmas in my church, that we would be visiting the Boys Remand Home, I felt the need to be part of that group. Before I proceed, I will like to explain the meaning and purpose of this home, especially for non-Nigerians who make have different names for this kind of institution.
The Boys Remand Home is a juvenile correctional centre for young offenders. Children too young to be committed to prison for crimes committed, or those who had become a nuisance or problem to the society.
As a team, we set out for this place, not knowing what to expect, but we believed God would touch these children and youths through our ministrations and pour gifts of love. When we got there, we had a small service and I had the opportunity to observe these children. There were those as young as ten and others as old as seventeen.
During our personal ministration, I was able to speak to a few of them. It was obvious that most of them were there because their parents had failed in their duties to care and train them. Some of them were found wandering on the streets; some caught stealing while others were there for more serious crimes like murder.
I saw more than anything, the desire of these children to be loved. This was the message we took to them and they received it with joy. As we were preparing to leave, I saw a little boys, through the window of the room where we were, frantically trying to get the attention of one of the sisters standing close to me. When we called her attention to him, he waved goodbye. Many eyes were moist as the sister waved back with a big smile on her face, knowing that she had in some way, touched this little boy’s heart while ministering to him.
These are children who had been forgotten by the society. To many of the people who had known them previously, it was good riddance. However, when we decided to visit these ones, it was in the knowledge that Christ died for them too. When we preached the message of salvation to them, they readily believed. No all were from Christian homes. Quite a number were Muslims and a few were identified as emanating from traditional religious homes.
When Jesus started His ministry here on earth, one of the early teachings was in the Synagogue where he read from the book of Isaiah 61:1 and also added Isaiah 42:7. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of the sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4: 18,19 – KJV)
This, I believe is the same commission Jesus has given to us! To carry the good news to the captives! These boys may have been locked up in a particular place, but as the gospel was being preached to them, their spirits were being released! The power of God broke the very chains that dragged them into the place of confinement.
As we prepare to celebrate another Christmas, let us pause for a while and think of people around us. Those for whom Christmas has no special meaning. They have remained unloved and uncared for all year round. The only thing familiar to them is suffering, hunger and depravation. If you look well enough, you will find them around you. These people need Jesus but they cannot know the love of Jesus unless we show them.
This is the Spirit of Christmas. Christ came to the world motivated by the love He had and still has, for mankind. He gave up all He had to ensure that you and I do not suffer the full wrath of God’s law – eternal damnation in hell.
What can you give up today in the Spirit of Christmas?
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the owner of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in London where he works as an IT professional. He currently serves in the worship team in at his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address,firstname.lastname@example.org