Today I helped some parents get Christmas gifts for their kids. We didn't go to a mall, although we had to stand in lines. No money exchanged hands, but they all came away with a huge bag full of gifts. I will probably never meet the children that I helped pick out presents for, but they will be in my heart and mind.
These parents were just a few of the many people who cannot afford to put Christmas gifts under the tree for their kids. I don't know their whole stories, but here are some things that I did learn today. I invite you to join me in praying for these families this Christmas:
She has a son, who will be 10 years old on Christmas Day, and a daughter, who turned 12 in July. Her daughter likes to read and play with dolls. Her son loves to wrestle. Deborah shared that she is in somewhat of an abusive relationship with a man and said that her ex-husband wants his wife back. I don't know if she was talking about the same person when she described those men, but please pray that God will protect Deborah and her kids. She goes to church regularly and said that she knows the Lord.
She is a breast-cancer survivor and was shopping for her 14-year-old daughter. Judy also has two grown children and two grandchildren. She said that her daughter likes school (she's in the ninth grade) and has lots of friends. Judy was raised in the church, but has not been attending lately. Pray that she will stay healthy and that her family will grow closer together. Also pray that she will find a church that she can plug into and get back into fellowship with other believers.
He has three children, but we only shopped for his older son (age 12) today. His fiance will shop for their baby boy on another day this week. Clyde and his family lost their home and everything they owned in the Nashville flood in May. He told me that they had to leave their home through water that was up to their necks. He does not go to church and probably does not know Jesus (his fiance attends the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses). Clyde had not participated in the Toy Store before and he seemed genuinely grateful and impacted by the generosity and kindness shown to him and his family. Pray that this experience will be the beginning of his journey to know Jesus as His own personal Savior.
Spending time at the Toy Store is one of the highlights of my Christmas each year that I have been able to do it. I always leave there feeling humbly blessed and thankful that God gave me the opportunity to be a part of someone else's Christmas.