Aside from the obvious of celebrating Jesus' birth with my family and friends, my favorite part of the Christmas season is planning and producing our Music City Mission Christmas Party. This year, we have had a lot of changes and one of them was in our events and how we plan and prepare for them. It quite honestly has added a lot to my plate but also been a joy and such fun to work with such great people. My team for the Christmas party was amazing.My dear friend, Sonya, who is an integral part of MCM took on a huge load of the party and we had so much fun working together. We had 200 children that we "adopted" out to families, sunday school classes, churches, work places and on and on....these individuals and groups took the child's wish list and shopped and wrapped for them. Needless to say, collecting all these gifts, organizing them, getting volunteers and all of the other many details in place is enough to drive one crazy.....But, it was the best party we've ever had! It was amazing. God came. Families had a great time and they heard about Jesus!
As if that isn't enough, Bob and I kept traveling and doing concerts and revivals. In fact,we were in revival in Illinois 2 days prior to the party. It was insane. Our booking agent really needs to be fired! LOL! (if you don't know, we are our own "agent")
While getting ready for our opening service on Sunday morningl, I got a phone call from a former parishoner at Radnor. (our church we pastored up until March of last year) Calvin was calling to tell me that Elizabeth had died. Elizabeth? The young Mom of 3 girls? No way? How? I was stunned, shocked and broken hearted for LaLa, Remia and Anaiah. I knew they hadn't been going to church since Radnor closed and so I knew there wasn't going to be anyone going to them to comfort them. I instantly kicked into "pastors wife and mother hen" mode and started making calls and sending texts- all while doing my hair and makeup! Later in the day I was able to make contact with the girls step-dad and finally the girls. I comforted them as best I could and offered to do anything I could to help. I also, now knowing how it would happen, or how I could pull it off 5 days before the party, told the girls I would make sure they had Christmas and have a way to the Christmas party on Saturday. I asked them what they needed and wanted and immediately put a couple notices on Facebook to pray for them.
Within 24 hours everything they needed and wanted for Christmas had been purchased. Food had been sent. Transportation was available. Counseling services were offered and people were praying. I was estatic and sad all at the same time. It was amazing to watch God comfort these girls and also provide all at the same time. When they walked into the party that following Saturday, less than a week from losing their Mama, my heart melted. I hugged them, we cried and we talked about Elizabeth.....
The girls and I at the party.....
While they are still in somewhat of a state of shock and dis-belief, they are doing well and being strong for each other. It's sweet to watch them care for each other and protect one another. I don't know what the future holds for them and I wish I could fix it for them (my OCD and type A-ness has a hard time with stuff like this) I can only leave them in God's hands. I know He has a plan for them.
If these sweet girls, LaLa, Remiah and Anaiah cross your mind, will you pray for them? I can't imagine losing my Mom at 11, 13 or 15.
Thank You, Jesus for the comfort of Your sweet Holy Spirit. Thank You that You loved us enough to send Your Son to save us....you knew we were hurt and broken and You chose to partake in all that.
Merry (the day after Christmas!