A charity is rejoicing after giving out 18,000 chocolate gifts to school children across the UK this Christmas.
Metro World Child, which runs the largest Sunday School in the world with more than 250,000 children per week in its programmes, distributed the gifts along with a message of hope across more than 50 schools.
Founder Bill Wilson has regularly visited the UK to preach for more than 30 years but earlier in 2021, founded the Metro UK Schools Network, where children’s workers could collaborate to bring the Sunday School message to youngsters throughout the country.
To celebrate the network’s success, Pastor Bill joined forces with several churches to bless children with Christmas gifts.
He said: “The Sunday School movement started in the UK and the UK became a hub for missions across the world. It’s sad how the spiritual state of the country has deteriorated, but we believe bright days are ahead.
“We’ve been working with churches in London, the Midlands, the north in Lancashire and in Wales to ensure that children not only received a Christmas box of chocolates, but also the opportunity to hear how Jesus loves them. It’s amazing that despite the changes in society, there is still an open door to access schools.
“Many people know my own story, of how I was abandoned by my own mother on a street corner when I was a kid. That propelled me to launch Metro World Child and today we have the largest Sunday School in the world. It’s quite the story.”
Schools worker Jordan Lambert handed out gifts to several schools in Staffordshire. He said the response was incredible.
“Teachers and students welcomed us and it was great that they could see that the church in the UK is very much alive. Christmas is all about generosity and giving, and which child doesn’t love to receive a box of chocolates?” he said.
Joseph Bediako, in Croydon, was able to give out close to 5,000 gifts in his borough. He said he was inspired to start working in schools after visiting Metro World Child’s HQ in New York.
“Pastor Bill and the team in New York have led the way for many years. It impacted me greatly when I visited there and I saw what could be done,” he said.
“In the UK network, we are seeing so many schools open up and we know this is just the beginning. Christmas was great, to reach 18,000 children was amazing but we know that so much more is possible.”