MERCER ISLAND, WA (December 23, 2009) – The Christmas carolers from Mercer Island Covenant Church wanted to share God’s love through song as they went from business to business in the village.
They didn’t anticipate helping a man show his wife that he still loved her even though their marriage was in crisis.
The man had stopped on the street to listen to the carolers, who ranged in age from five to 75 years old. As they finished singing at one location and moved to another, he followed them, recalls Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos.
The man approached the carolers – none of whom knew him – and asked, “This may seem strange to you, but I was wondering if you could do me a favor.” He explained that his marriage was falling apart and asked if they would be willing to go to his wife’s workplace and sing – as a gift from him.
While the group shared several songs, the husband and wife each had tears welling up in their eyes, Asimakoupoulos says. “Everyone in the caroling group knew that this was a God moment.”
Asimakoupoulos saw the man later that afternoon and he thanked him for the group’s kindness. “He was grateful that he had the opportunity to give the gift to his wife.”
No group from the church had caroled in the community for several years because it was considered “politically incorrect,” Asimakoupoulos says. Roughly 25 percent of the area is Jewish, he explains.
Some of the carolers were parents of teenagers who were distributing candy to other businesses at the same time. The group of 20 middle and high school students had bagged the candy with a note that expressed gratitude to the employees for the contributions they make to the community.
At each office, they would ask the receptionist how many people worked there and then give that many bags to be distributed.
The candy giveaway and the caroling were part of the church’s response to a question they decided to ask each other: “What did you give away this Christmas?”
“We wanted to get out of the building and into the community and surprise people with God’s love in an unpredictable way,” Asimakoupoulos. This time, the surprise was on the givers.