After my husband and I received our envelopes, we immediately challenged ourselves and decided to match what the church gave us, giving us a total of $160 together to show the love of Christ. We prayed throughout the week for the Holy Spirit to speak to us when the opportunity to "share with others" arose. I occasionally work per Diem at a doctors office where my mom also works. While pulling some late hours together, my mom explained to me that a coworker was having a hard time this Christmas. This woman and her daughter had recently left her husband, who struggled with an addiction to alcohol and was verbally abusive. They were now living with her elderly father, which meant that she is now the sole provider for herself and her daughter. Recently, money had gotten tight and luck was not running on their side. That same morning, this coworker had come in to work crying; her husband was supposed to get her daughter on Christmas morning and, to make matters worse, this woman was not able to afford any Christmas presents for her little girl. My mom stepped out on faith and took our coworker during lunch to get a few things for this woman's little girl.
Inspired by my mom, I decided to step out on faith and help too. I called Matt real quick to see what he thought and he was all for it! My mom and I hurried up and finished our work, then ran to Wal-Mart to spend $160 on this little girl and her mother. We purchased all kinds of things: from clothes, to toys, to bubble bath. I then followed my mom home, where my mom and I wrapped every gift up right away. My teenage sister even got caught up in the fun of being a blessing to others and helped us wrap gifts until almost 9:30 that night!
When my coworker got to work the next day, she found bags of gifts for her and her daughter stuffed under her desk. My mom explained how tears of relief ran down her coworker's face as she asked everyone in the office who did it. No one claimed responsibility for this not-so-random act of kindness. We remain anonymous, the little girl will get a Christmas, and her mom doesn't have to worry because grace and love has touched her house this Christmas.
What a joy it is to think of this little girl's face on Christmas day as she opened up the barbie doll, fuzzy socks, and other fun things. It felt so good to be a part of this "9:13 project" this year. Matt and I are thankful to be a part of McLane Church's vision of "transforming a region". This church has helped open our eyes to the value of serving and loving others unconditionally and giving to others who have nothing to give back. Mclane's mission statement is "eliminating barriers to give people access to Christ" and we look forward to the next opportunity to do so.