Through a single “accident” in early November, God created a snowball of blessings that significantly changed Christmas for a couple of families in our community and I would like to share their story with you.

 

I received a call from a couple in our church that had been out of town through the Thanksgiving holiday asking if they could bring their shoe boxes in late.  Yes, they were too late… but NO, their timing was PERFECT!

 

After hearing the description of the shoe boxes, I was reminded of a lady that I spoke with earlier that morning.  For discretion I will call her “Jane”.  Jane was needing help with her rent, but through our conversation, mentioned her 2 young children and how she had very little to offer them for Christmas.  The ages of the gifts were similar, so I asked the couple if they would consider donating the gifts to Jane’s family.

 

The couple was overjoyed to be able to help! Shortly afterwards they arrived with the gifts AND a $300 gift card to help her buy groceries and gifts for her family.  The couple also asked if she had mention anything specific that she was in need of. The only thing that came to mind was that all of her belongings were in storage and she did not know how she would retrieve them or if she would be able to continue paying rent on the storage unit.  Within a couple of days, the couple made arrangements with our Men’s Bible Study group, organizing 11 men and several trailers ready to pick up Jane’s belongings and deliver them to her address.

 

When the owner of the storage unit heard what we had done, he was so impressed with what God was doing at our church, he and his wife drove up from Ellijay and made a sizable donation that would help to further impact our community.

 

Early the next week I receive another call from Lori, the director of our partners, Her Hope Pregnancy Center.  Lori was asking if we knew of anyone that was looking to help adopt a family that needed extra help this Christmas.  In remembering how the Men’s Bible Study group came together, I immediately thought that our Women’s Bible Study group may be interested in helping out with this family.

 

I contacted Donna Turek, who leads this study, and would like to share the response from Donna about how this group came together to help…

 

The Tuesday morning ladies Bible study has been studying “Because of Bethlehem” by Max Lucado. We walked through God becoming human and entering this world as a baby. At a time of gift giving, we talked about how the angels gave Him the gift of worship. We talked about the magi finding Christ because they heeded the signs and believed scripture. And finally, we talked about the Christmas tree and how God prunes us, he decorates us with “fruits of the Spirit”, he surrounds us with his grace, and he places us. 

When Gena asked if the ladies would like to adopt a single mom and her 2 children for Christmas, it was ordained by God. How fitting to love on a single mom after talking about Mary. How fitting to love on 2 small children after talking about baby Jesus and how fitting to give gifts when God gave us the gift of salvation. The ladies were ecstatic! We brought gifts! Ladies wrapped the gifts! We swapped cookies and we talked about Jesus being born in a lowly manger where no one would ever expect a King. We especially reminded ourselves to love on moms who choose life in a time when society seems to celebrate abortion. 

 

2020 has been a year of challenges and I have witnessed that firsthand at The Ridge.  There have been many people in our community that have entered our doors because of hardship and looking for help through financial difficulties, but also seeking encouragement, refuge, restoration and prayer.  I have had the privilege of sharing testimonies through laughter and tears with some of those people and I have had the advantage of observing God’s faithfulness, just as promised in Luke 12:29-31 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”

 

Because one couple was late turning in their shoe boxes, God orchestrated a domino effect of Christmas blessings.  Being a witness has blessed me, my hope is that through this testimony and our Be Generous Campaign, that is designed to give back to our community, that your family and more families in our community will also be blessed.

 

– Gena Turner