I’ll never forget our last day of Christmas gift distribution a few years ago. Working long hours for weeks, our staff were running on empty late on the last night of distribution before Christmas. I watched as one limped through the corridor of the Distribution Center while another collapsed onto an empty box that she transformed into a chair. Just when we thought the evening was over, a distressed couple from Central Topeka walked through the door.
It was well below freezing outside. They shuffled in with no gloves or hats, and nothing but old, thin summer jackets to keep them warm. They were both middle-aged, but looked old beyond their years. Their clothes were ragged. They were both very thin and appeared to not be feeling well. Our staff, exhausted, instantly rose to warmly greet them. They assisted them in obtaining not only Christmas gifts, but also scurried to find gloves, hats and heavy coats to keep the
Not realizing how many items that they would be receiving, the couple soon became discouraged. They had walked to the Mission from Central Topeka. Now, they wondered out loud, “how will we get everything home?” A volunteer, also tired and worn thin, pushed passed his exhaustion and offered them a ride. The couple eagerly accepted.
Before getting into the vehicle, a staff member brought out a Christmas box of food for the couple. When they saw it, their eyes lit up in disbelief. They had not expected such a blessing. Softy, in an attempt for no one else to hear, the woman leaned into her husband’s ear and whispered through a smile and tears…“We get to eat tonight.”
While I knew that the Christmas distribution that had been held by the Mission for decades was a blessing to many, I don’t know that until that moment, I ever realized the significance it could have on one family. It was not only the gifts and the food, but also the love of Jesus Christ shining through the staff and volunteers that made a difference for that family. May you experience that same love that Jesus has to offer this Christmas season and throughout the year.
With a grateful heart,