Christmas at the Library: A Growing Tradition
Family Memories and New Lives in Christ Abound
December 9, 2010 - In just over a week after the opening, Christmas at the Library is in full swing. Whether people are coming as families, individuals, school groups or church groups, one thing is clear: the Billy Library is quickly becoming a place where Christmas memories are being made.
I know God brought him here so that he could be introduced to his Savior. That’s what Christmas at the Library is really all about.
By Joy Allmond
“We’ve already seen that attendance has been really good this year. We’re even surpassing last year’s crowds,” said Debra Cordial, Director of the Billy Graham Library. “A lot of families have been telling us that this has become their family tradition and they will be coming back year after year.”
While there are many return visitors, we are hearing from others who are experiencing Christmas at the Library for the very first time, like Janet Bradley. She came on opening night, which was December 1.
“I came for the first night of carriage rides, the live Nativity and to experience the regular Library features,” said Bradley. “This place is beautiful! The whole evening was wonderful. Whoever hasn't been needs to go. Christmas at the Library will warm your heart.”
Christine Thompson of Newman, G.A. agrees. “What a blessing. It touches the heart deeply and leaves you feeling such ‘goodness’ from this place. It is so Jesus-focused!”
Teaching Children Why We Celebrate
Of the many Christmas at the Library features, the live Nativity is one of the biggest draws for families with young children. Each day from 12-2 p.m. the animals from the Nativity are available for petting. The animals include a camel, a donkey, two goats, two sheep, a llama and two mini water buffaloes.
Last year Wendy Turner brought her then one-year-old son to pet the animals. Now that he’s older, she said he’s able to enjoy this feature much better.
“We’ve talked about the animals and have a little book at home that we’ve been going through. Being able to come see these live animals makes it more real for him,” she said. “This time of year, we really want to teach him about Christ and what Christmas is about, and replace Santa with Jesus.”
Anna Blevins has the same motivation for bringing her two-year-old daughter to see the animals. “We came last year when she was one year old to see the animals and she loved the living Nativity. So, we came back to visit again,” she said.
“Now that she’s older, she can appreciate the animals and how they fit into the Christmas story. We really appreciate having the Billy Graham Library so close so that we can come and share the Good News of Jesus with our kids.”
You too can share the Good News of Jesus Christ
The Billy Graham Library is just one of many tools BGEA uses to bring the eternal hope of Jesus Christ. Click here to play a part in changing eternity for someone.
More Than Just a Memory
Like many parents who bring their children, the volunteers at the Billy Graham Library are also sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who have visited the Library this Christmas season.
Elizabeth, one of the volunteers, explained how one family came just to experience the features and ended up leaving with something more than a nice memory; they left the Library with new relationships with Jesus Christ.
“A lady walked by the prayer room and I asked her if she would like to come in for prayer. We talked for a while, and she ended up asking Jesus into her life,” said Elizabeth.
As it turned out, the woman had two children who were in the Dairy Bar getting something to eat. When Elizabeth asked the woman if her children knew Christ, she indicated they did not. The woman then brought her children over to Elizabeth.
“I was able to share the Gospel message in a simple way. I told them that God loves them and wants to be their best friend. I explained to them that we all do things we shouldn’t do, and we need forgiveness for that,” recalled Elizabeth.
After further explanation and answered questions, both children prayed to receive Christ.
Elizabeth tells another story of one man who came to Christmas at the Library with an anxious heart. “He asked for prayer because he needed a new car and he was on the brink of losing his home. He was brokenhearted because of his impending loss,” she said.
She asked the man if he had a relationship with Jesus Christ. He told her that he did not, but that these troubles in his life helped him to see his need for a Savior. He prayed to receive Christ that night.
“He came here heartbroken, without knowing Jesus. I know God brought him here so that he could be introduced to his Savior. That’s what Christmas at the Library is really all about.”