By ASU Student Missionaries Alsatia Shope and Catherine Swingle
At the beginning of December, SPOAZ hosted a Christmas Coffee House and welcomed nearly 60 guests -- students freshly finished with the semester and ready to celebrate to season of Advent. The scene was perfectly set. The newly decorated Christmas tree flooded the house with smells of winter cheer, the house bedecked with lights and ribbons joyfully welcomed all visitors, the bonfire steadily provided warmth through the night. Guests were provided with hot chocolate and whipped cream, marshmallows and graham crackers. The stage was set, ready to entertain.
But regardless of all of the preparations for the evening, what made the Coffee House a true success were the people who came and the joy that we all shared. Classmates, coworkers, peers from the Newman Center and newly made friends all gathered together simply to celebrate the season and celebrate our community.
Together we ate Christmas themed cookies, laughed around the fire and assembled s’mores. Those of us who were brave enough shared our talents on the open mic. The highlight of the evening was a special performance by the religious sisters from Peru, who have recently joined us in our mission on campus. They sang songs in Spanish and wowed us with their gift of music. Later on, we crammed nearly 30 people into a small living room (designed for about 5 people) to host a white-elephant gift exchange. While practically sitting on top of each other, we went around opening gifts and laughing at their contents: a pet rock, an exercise ball, toy army men, and hamburger buns. As the night grew later, no one wanted to leave. Through each other, we experienced Christ’s love and authentic joy.
The semester was finished, finals were over, and Christmas was near. We rejoiced in our friendships and we made new friends. The Lord led people into our home that night because He knew it was good.