On Sunday, Aug. 11, the children’s Christian group called the Sonseekers presented an early Christmas program at the 11 a.m. service at Dogwood Hill Baptist Church in Loris. The Sonseekers presented a country bumpkin Christmas play about gathering together to celebrate traditionally with family and friends, but to also remember the true meaning of Christmas marking the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The children danced and sang, decorated a Christmas tree andchased a turkey through the sanctuary, ending with the angel who appeared before Joseph and Mary walking down the aisle carrying baby Jesus to present to the country bumpkins with the words spoken of the true meaning of the holiday.
Tina Edge, who volunteers her time with the children’s group, spent one day a week throughout the summer with this small group of children ages 4 to 12. She said when her children were small they attended a day camp at a church in Tabor City, N.C., and had learned a musical ‘Sonseekers’. She said, “I thought this was an amazing ministry and twenty-some years later I thought we needed a summer program for our children and presented it to them.” Edge continued, “The thought of the son, s-o-n, teaching the children to seek God’s son, Jesus Christ, our savior and Lord, which has been our focus in addition with mission work.” She stated she wanted the children to not just learn about mission work, but to practice it as well. The group made survival kits and delivered them to the nurses at McLeod Loris Hospital. The nurse’s survival kit included candies and gum and scripture references to help the nurses through their day.
Edge said that senior pastor Jimmy Floyd and the song leader wanted to get an early start promoting the Christmas shoeboxes they will fill with gifts for needy children. “We wanted the people of the church to get a head start to gather items to fill the boxes.” She continued, “This gives everyone the chance to celebrate early to give in behalf of Jesus and the ministry.”
Dave and Jill Cooke started the program in the United Kingdom in 1990. Three years later the Wales-based shoebox gift project merged in a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse. The Cookes 20 years of experience in relief and aid work renaming the ministry to Operation Christmas Child, expand the area to provide a shoebox filled with gifts to more than 28,000 children across the world. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 168 million children in more than 100 countries.
For two years the youth participated in the Teddy Bear Ministry where they gave away over 200 teddy bear.
Brently, who is nine and a participant in the program, said, “I like the Sonseekers because the teachers are so sweet and kind and they would encourage me to do things that I didn’t think I was able to do.” She learned that if you can only give a nickel to someone in need they would take and honor it like it is a diamond. For a nine year old she has learned the gesture of giving, not just monetary giving but to give from the heart and for the right reasons.
The children who participated in the summer Sonseekers program are Ava, Christian, Cora, Brently, Rome, J.R. Cody, Colson and Cayden. The adults who helped with the presentation were Holley and McClaley Hardee, Morgan Cos, Stephanie Calaap, Rebecca Whisnant and Paula Herring.
This was a preview of what is to come in December when the congregation will gather to celebrate Christmas, the truth and the light as well as the traditional with the Christian hymns describing the season of Christmas.
The youth meet every Sunday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. All youth are welcome to join the Dogwood Hill Baptist Church.
Visit their website www.dwhillbc.com for upcoming events or to view their Sunday services.