Christmas 2005

Letter 1
I moved here from Ohio fourteen years ago. Married and then found myself divorced seven years later. I come from a very dysfunctional family. It has been nine years since my mother has seen her grandchildren. their ages are 13, 9, and 5. That means there is a grandbaby that is nonexistent to her. Despite it all, I have always managed to stand on my own two feet. One year ago I was working as a production supervisor in a company that was failing. My job was very stressful. At the same time my oldest daughter and I had a challenge at hand. Depression. I was losing my daughter, mentally and emotionally. I can’t express how horrifying this time in my life was. Last year was the ending of years of struggling mentally and financially with my daughter. I was given a wake-up call after one of my sessions with one of my doctors. (In my own blunt translation) I was told that I needed to make changes. My doctor feared for my health. I was on the edge of a breakdown. During a visit to another doctor, God stepped in. My doctor invited me to Fairview Missionary Church. I attended the following Sunday. For over a month I cried every Sunday in church. I slowly became active in church with classes and Friendship Cafe’. I never felt judged. I always felt welcomed. I made drastic changes in my life. My daughter lives with her day. I left my job. Even though my health and who knows, maybe even my life depended on it – leaving my job is the hardest to recover from. (That company is closing and moving to Mexico.)

The help our family has received from other members and church staff has been overwhelming. I have always struggled through alone, somehow. I feel that there are people who actually care about me. I was not sure how I was going to handle Christmas this year. I always give the children school clothes for Christmas – jeans, winter shirts, and so on. With the two youngest I had to replace all of their clothes this year. At the start of the year they received just enough to get started in. The help we received helped buy jeans, boots, winter shirts, gloves and toys. We were also able to keep our electricity on. We now have a phone in our home.

It is hard to handle when you find yourself in the need of so much help. This Christmas season has been the most memorable for me. Thank you to every one of you. Your prayers and assistance have been greatly appreciated.

Letter 2
Your sermon today really spoke to me. Before service you asked me if I was “ready” and I replied “No”. As I sat and listened to your sermon, I could identify with three of the four “days of darkness” you talked about in your sermon. In the past two weeks I feel I have experienced disappointment, distress, and a bit of depression and very much in the need of encouragement, strength, guidance, and change of heart. As I listened, I realized that I haven’t spent much time in the presence of God in the past two weeks as I have dealt with illnesses of my two children and my mother-in-law. I left God’s presence, He didn’t leave mine. I now know what I need to do to continue down this road. (I’ve always known, I just needed a push!) Thank you for allowing God to use you as His tool to reach out to others. I definitely felt God talking to me through you today. Thank you for the “push”.