Tales From the 2012 Toy Drive

Ridgecrest Baptist Church, my home church, held its fifth annual Christmas Toy Drive last night. I was allowed the privilege to talk and pray with some of the women who came to “shop” for their children.

You may have preconceived notions about the people we serve at the Toy Drive. To be honest, I’ve been there too in the past. But each year I’m more humbled and moved by the stories of the folks God brings to us.

One lady, whom I’ll call Lettie, shared how 2012 was a hard year for her and her two children. She’d lost her job, subsequently lost their home, and now were reduced to living with her sister. She also told me there was the very good possibility that her sister would soon be evicted, if the landlord found out there were extra people under her roof. Lettie said she was depressed, and understandably so. She told me she’d spent many hours crying about what seemed to be a helpless situation. After questioning her and discerning Lettie not to be a believer, I gladly shared the Good News. I told her how she would not have to live helpless and hopeless anymore, if she were a believer of Christ and Child of God. She didn’t have to just have head knowledge about Jesus; she could experience “heart knowledge” of Jesus! Lettie listened intently to what I had to say, then prayed to receive Christ as her Savior. She received a Bible from our church, and I gave her a tract about the decision for Christ she’d made. I encouraged her to make sure she joined a local Bible-believing church near her home and get her children involved in church life also. I assured her that things would not change magically overnight, but now she had God’s assurance that He would keep His promises to her and HE would make a difference in her life.

I also prayed with another woman, Tabitha, who shared her difficulties. A believer, Tabitha told me her husband was also a believer of Jesus. Right now, this little family is barely making it, “squeaking by” as she put it, on his income. BUT they had a roof over their head, enough to eat, one precious child already, and another on the way. She told me things were not as they hoped, but she was so grateful for the blessings of God upon her life. After I prayed with her, Tabitha prayed aloud too. She cried, thanking the Lord for her life, for her marriage, for her children, and most of all for knowing Him! I cried and rejoiced along with her. Lastly, she thanked God for a church that would care enough to put together something like the Toy Drive because it helped families out who needed help. When we finished, Tabitha hugged and hugged on me. My goodness, I’m sure I got the much bigger blessing out of meeting! Since Tabitha lives not too far from the church and has a car, she insisted on getting literature about the church and inquired about service times. I really hope to see her and hug this precious lady again!

One more story about a lady with whom I prayed, Maureen. Maureen is a believer also. Her story was similar in some ways to Lettie’s and Tabitha, as she is no stranger to hard times. Maureen is a grandmother who is trying to raise two of her grandchildren and in the meantime is battling serious sickness.  Maureen said she just wanted to pray with someone last night because “There’s power in prayer.” She shared how she ended up with custodial control of her grandchildren and had battled over a year with a serious illness. Even though I had just met her, I could see evidence of this war raging in her body. But she assured me she knew God was her Savior and was in control, and that He would get the glory!  I prayed with Maureen and she and I cried together. Again, she was thankful for the Toy Drive and for the everyday blessings God had given to her.

I hope you received a blessing through their stories. May God receive all the glory!

Lookin’ up,

 

 

 

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