During the 2018 Global Youth Day, different church groups in the Lausanne area did a social service for the community with the Adventist English Group-Vaud being no exception. That day saw the English group brazed through the rain to bring the love of Christ to the general public in the form of free hugs. We were placed at a location that was very strategic, close to a bus and metro station and not far from a McDonald’s restaurant at Chauderon. The gesture was to demonstrate the unconditional love of Christ to the Lausanne community. In a context where so many people are covered with the cold of loneliness, our free hugs gesture was like a beam of sun rays to dispel the cold of loneliness that characterizes the lives of many. Our colorful free hugs cards signs stood out in the middle of the greyness. Some passers-by were curious, others were suspicious, nonetheless nobody was showing signs of indifference. To the more adventurous who stopped by and received a hug, an Easter Musical Concert flyer was offered. At a point, we felt it was not enough to share free hugs but to have an encounter that will ensue into a real conversation about the Christian faith. Moreover, to us, we felt such an experience will be a testimony. In our quest to experience this testimony, we shared a prayer to encounter such persons, and to our utmost surprise, a man showed up a minutes after the prayer, and he showed genuine interest in discussions concerning the Christian faith.

Getting to the ending part of our Free Hugs event, we received a “come over to Macedonia’s” help, from our superstar little Sara whose presence served as a game changer in the whole hugging event. More and more people were, therefore, coming for free hugs as a result of her presence. Finally, our Free hugs event came to an end after a group of gentlemen numbering about 20, who were throwing a bachelor party for their friend, showed up and came for free hugs. The experience was great, seeing the joy and smile on people faces as we administered the love of Christ to the Lausanne community.