Home for Christmas: A Personal Story
As a child, there was a period when my family was considered poor. I was 9 years old and my sisters were 11 and 14 when we lived for a short time in Eugene, Oregon. Our stepfather had moved us from southern California to Oregon but his sales job there did not go well. He worked on commission and had not been paid. Our mother worked nights as a waitress.
My bed was a mattress on the floor. Our living room table was a suitcase surrounded by two patio chairs. I would stare out my bedroom window at the nearby freight trains, dreaming of running away like Tom Sawyer. I also remember the Salvation Army bringing groceries to us for our Thanksgiving meal. Turkey, yams, vegetables, and all the trimmings were stuffed into those brown paper bags. Today I would call it an answer to prayer. My mother, being an atheist, did not pray. Perhaps it was an answer to someone else’s prayer!
None of us liked the rainy Oregon weather. After that Thanksgiving, our parents informed us that they were returning to southern California to look for work. We, the children, were going to stay in Oregon for a month with another family we did not know. That month of separation from our parents seemed like an eternity. Excruciating weeks went by, then one rainy day we learned that bus tickets had been purchased for us. We were going home! Nothing could be better than that.
The long Greyhound bus ride to LA’s Union Station finally ended as we pulled in slowly after dark on Christmas Eve. The tears crashed like waves as we hugged each other. More tears flowed as we made surprise visits to the grandparents in Long Beach. Late that night, we all arrived exhausted to the unfurnished apartment. A small, forlorn Christmas tree adorned a cardboard box. The next morning we excitedly opened our only gift that cost $1.00.
Our celebration that year did not include a beautiful tree with wrapped gifts. We did, however, experience an unforgettable life-lesson about family being together, and how that was more important than anything money could buy.
We didn’t know we were poor. We simply celebrated being with our parents again. We made it home for Christmas.
Our entire MP family wishes you a blessed Christmas.
Jeff and Paula Thompson
Sheets & Sweets – $25 ea (Christmas Gifts For the Whole Family)
The Hearts of Love Center in Konotop, Ukraine, is preparing for its annual Christmas celebration. The kids are excited as each one of them receives a present provided by you, their sponsors. Your support provides Christmas presents to bless the special children at this Center. (Presents $25)
Winter Camp: Where Kids Grow in Faith ($150 week)
Winter Camp takes place during
the first week in January, which includes the Ukrainian Christmas.
It is always a special time of growing closer to God.
Our counselors, many of them former sponsored children, pray with and lead young people into a deeper personal relationship with Christ. Your prayers and support for the Christmas Fund make this camp possible. Young people start requesting tickets to camp months before and they pray that camp will take place. A camp payment is due this month. 70 young people will attend (not 80 as reported last month). ($150 for 1 week)
Firewood & Heat – $75 = 1 month(Keeping Widows and Poor Families Warm)
Support for the MP Christmas Fund means helping widows keep their children warm and sharing the good news of Christ’s birth.
For those who have already given for the Christmas Fund, we want to say “Thank You!”
Our first transfer of funds overseas has already taken place. We covet your prayers and sincerely appreciate every gift of support. Your help will truly make this a meaningful Christmas for widows, orphans, and at-risk children.