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You made Christmas real – thank you

This scene at Johannesburg City Corps could be one of any Salvation Army Centres in towns and cities across the country – thanks to the kindness of friends like you.

Christmas on the street! Where is the joy of the day?

On Christmas morning last year, an early line of men, women and children (mostly homeless) started forming outside The Salvation Army Headquarters building in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Each person in the line had a harsh tale to tell about retrenchment, the hopeless search for jobs, losing touch with loved ones, sleeping in parks and doorways.

Inside, the building was filled with the aroma of roasting meat, staff and volunteers filled basins with prepared vegetables, and there was the clatter of tables and chairs being put in place to receive the Christmas meal guests with true Salvation Army hospitality.

When the Major opened the gate, the queue had stretched round the block, and 600 people quickly found a seat.

The occasion started with praise and worship, and the message from Major Semeno was, ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’

After the service, the hot and nourishing lunch was served. For most, it was the only meal of the day, for many, perhaps the only meal in several days. Clothing and small gifts for the children were handed out, and joyfully received.

Thank you for every donation sent towards providing a Christmas meal for people in destitute circumstances. You helped to provide the joy and put a little hope in their hearts.