The candlelight party conducted by City Harvest Children’s Church was a blast, with a glow-in-the-dark puppet show, fabulous prizes and a heartfelt story-telling session.
By Jamie Lim
It was way past their bedtime, but these 1,069 children had the full permission of their parents to stay out on the night of Dec. 19. The occasion? The Children’s Church Christmas candlelight party, Light Up My Christmas, held at City Harvest Church’s Jurong West premises.
Even before the party started, the atmosphere was abuzz with excitement as the Children’s Church teachers divided participants into two teams and led them in cheers.
The ball got rolling with, literally, rolling balls, as huge balloons were being passed from the back of the auditorium to the front; prompting the children to jump from their seats and touch the balloons.
Next was a puppet show—but it wasn’t your typical paper or cloth-based type. Rather, the puppets were luminous, played out in the dark. Needless to say, its young audience watched in rapt amazement.
After all that entertainment by adults, it was the children’s turn to shine. Joie Teo, 11,, played the guitar and sang the popular Jessie J pop number “Price Tag”, accompanied by a Children’s Church teachers on the cajon.
Another Children’s Church member, Benjamin Tan, performed the Chinese classic “Moon Represents My Heart” on the piano, with a teacher on vocals. Tan’s performance was especially touching and inspiring as he was dependent upon a hearing and seeing aid, yet these did not stop him from playing the piano.
But it was not all play. A story-telling session based on a Bible verse from John 1:9, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world,” encouraged the children to shine for Jesus, regardless of how small or insignificant they might feel. The story reminded them that Jesus is the one true light who had come to shine on earth. As such, no matter how dark they might feel, they can be assured that they are not alone.
Then came the highlight of the night that perfectly illustrated the core of the story—as worship leaders belted out Christmas carols, lights were dimmed, and a flame, lit from the stage, was passed along from candle to candle in each child’s hand (much younger children were given electric candles). Elation was written on the children’s faces, illuminated by the warm glow in their hands.
The party ended with a prize presentation awarding 12 children for being on their best behavior—indeed, they learned that it pays to be nice, as the prizes included a skateboard and bicycle.
More Christmas sing-along sessions followed, before the children finally called it a night, heading homes with their arms filled with goodies and their hearts, with the warmth and light of Christmas. Children’s Church held another two Christmas services on Dec. 21 and 23.