On a blustery afternoon with evening snow in the forecast, vehicles began arriving at Madison’s City Church on Buckeye Road as the sky began to grow dark. Grills were being fired up, tailgating tents were assembled, music began playing across the parking lot, and this year’s Trunk-or-Treat would soon be underway!
The security team was in place, bundled to greet and direct traffic and monitor safety. Pumpkin-clad teenagers were constructing a maze to rival all mazes. Shivering excitement and anticipation began to grow as car trunks and entire vehicles underwent a festive, decorative overhaul.
Meanwhile, creamy hot chocolate was being mixed by the gallon and candy was busily being sorted in the Family Room, which would serve as the evening’s “warming station” for chilly children and their families. The smells of charcoal, hot dogs, candy and cocoa permeated the near-freezing outside air, and we waited… wondering if ANYONE would bring their children out in such unfavorable conditions.
As the sky grew dark, the snow began to fall. We had built it — but would they come?
Indeed they did. From the north, south, east and west they came. Familiar faces, families that we know, children who call this place home. But what about the rest? Who are these new people, and where did THEY come from? Faces I recognized from last year‘s event, families drawn in from the sign on Buckeye, neighborhood parents bringing excited children in their festive costumes…
We scrambled to create additional parking, as vehicles and vanloads kept pouring in, each window seemingly filled with wide-eyed children, gazing at the excitement before them. Within minutes, the City Church parking lot became a community of costumes, an environment of excitement, and a festival of fun! The “strip” was like a child’s dreamland as games were played, candy was acquired, smiles were shared and hugs were exchanged.
And then POOF!
The candy ran out, and before you knew it, nearly 500 happy people had come — and gone.
Those who remained, stood around, staring at the falling snow and stunned by the goodness of God. The Lord is allowing City Church to be a light to this community, and he is using simple things such as Trunk-or-Treat to do so. Inviting people onto our church property with open arms communicates to this neighborhood that God is good and that we care about families.
Thanks to EVERYONE who participated, prayed, planned and prepared. May God receive all of the glory!