We have been blessed to be part of some Christmas Miracles here this week. Several weeks before Thanksgiving, I was called by a family in the community, not connected to our church, who wanted to adopt a military family for Christmas. That led me to a National Guard Chaplain who helped us connect her with a family. 2 weeks ago or so, he told me about another family that needed help – a family with 6 children. Both parents are in the Army and are stationed apart. There are other circumstances I will not blog about here, but they needed help with Christmas. I called to get a wish list and the first thing the mom asked for were dressers – they needed room to put their clothes. Some clothes for the kids, and then an electric razor for the kids to give her husband. Nothing for herself.
I spoke to a church family who adopted one of the girls and sent an e-mail to her homeschool list. Her mom provided a Publix Gift Card, and their children donated 2 of their Christmas presents (which are coming via UPS from Santa). Another member drove all over GA to pick up dressers and clothes that his family had. A third person shopped for two of the other children and the mom, picking out fun outfits for the teens. Mindy heard the story and sent a $75 Target gift card. On Monday I had no idea how we were going to provide for this family, and by Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, the generousity was overflowing. There was some money left from the Sunday School adopt-a-family project and so we used some of those and some community ministries funds. This is what the hallway looked like this morning:
We put presents in the drawers, in the cab of the truck, anyplace we could fit them and sent them on their way. Before the chaplian left, he called the family so that we could speak to them. The mother was overcome and all she said was “thank you for making Christmas for us.”
We often ask in worship that we may be belssed to be a blessing. This week, it has been so. Using money from the Deacon’s Fund, in addition to other gifts, we have helped this family, paid for a motel stay for another, paid rent, utilities, and given a Wal-Mart gift card to another family who is out of work and made the choice to pay their rent and utilities. Their office manager was referred to me so that the kids could have Christmas.
Each person in our faith community (and beyond in some instances) was a part of the giving we have done this Christmas season. But, to tell the truth, it does not happen only this time of year. The Friendship Table Volunteers will be here after the trees are taken down and the tinsel is packed away. There will be utility bills in February that need to be paid, and families in need of housing. This Christmas, I am thankful to be part of a faith community that gives generously and from the heart of their time and offerings to help strangers. I am thankful for the chaplain who is driving 2 hours one way to deliver, and for all the elves who helped us make a miracle for someone else. May we remember the joy of giving and the spirit of Christmas throughout the year.