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Ministry teams sing carols, encourage police, firefighters

NEW YORK (BP)–More than 40 fire halls and 20 police precincts have been filled with the sounds of Southern Baptist college students singing Christmas carols and spreading good cheer in New York.

About 100 students and staff from the Baptist Collegiate Ministries of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Bossier City are participating in the Dec. 14-21 ministry trip, according to BCM director Steve Masters.

At least one 12-year-old boy accepted Christ during a street-witnessing campaign on Dec. 18, he reported.

Masters said the firefighters and police officers have been receptive of the message being spread by the Christian collegians. “We were at one police precinct and they didn’t want to let us in,” he said. “Well, we left a gift box with them and one of the detectives asked us to sing one song. After that, about 10 police officers came out and asked us to sing more. Then, a detective who was having a terrible day heard the kids singing ‘Silent Night.’ He said it brought peace to him.”

The students raised their own funding for the trip and have been performing ministry tasks through the city. The team will lead Christmas parties at more than 40 fire stations and 20 police stations. They also will deliver “Louisiana Christmas Boxes” to New York’s finest and bravest. The boxes include a bottle of Tabasco sauce, Mardi Gras beads, pralines and other treats synonymous with the Bayou State.

Many of the fire halls and precinct houses lost personnel during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. After a similar trip in 2001, firefighters extended an invitation for the Louisiana Baptist students to return for another round of caroling.

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