Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas in the Desert....

Sorting gifts in the mission house in Sells, Arizona.
Sheryl and Cheryl Miller in the Miller's house (their first house ever)!

JT and Mike outside of his home.

Kaitlyn, Jai Rose, Madison, Sheryl, Pauletta, Heather and Julie
delivering presents at Pauletta's home.

Jenson Juan enjoyed handing out gifts to people!

In November our friends Clyde and Jackie Adams suggested that some past mission trip participants sponsor some of our Tohono O'odham friends in Arizona. We thought it was a great idea and pitched it to our friends who had been to Arizona this past year. At first we thought we would be able to sponsor 2-3 families. Little did we know....

By the time the invitation went out, we had several families sponsored and more. As our garage became the holding bay for gifts, we were overhwhelmed with the generosity of so many people. We were able to help almost 150 people with Christmas gifts! Isn't God amazing!
Here are some of the highlights of our trip:
  • Walking into the mission house to see over 20 boxes delivered via UPS the Friday before (this was quite a miracle in and of itself)!
  • Seeing the look on K and Nessa's faces when we showed them a pile of gifts. K told us that in the past, he had never opened presents on Christmas Day. He has served time in prison and his highlight was the kind of ham that would be served that day. Their faces were like little kids...they could hardly wait to open the presents. But, they waited except for one gift for Kayla and one gift for them....they got new sheets and were SO excited to use them. When we went to visit them the next day, the sheets were already on the bed!
  • The nursing home residents were thrilled with the blankets. Kaitlyn, Madison and Jai Rose went from room to room with our friends Julie and Cheryl to hand out blankets. We had 65 blankets (2 more than we needed for all the residents)!
  • We gave Mike Ramon his gifts (from Lisa C) and then saw him for dinner just a couple of hours later. He said "we are not promised tomorrow, so I opened all the gifts!" He had on his new jacket and was carrying his new Bible. He was beside himself with happiness!
  • Josie and her family just watched us with jaws dropped as we continued to bring in gifts for the whole family. The microwave (thanks Johnny and MaryLee) was a HUGE hit, and it had to be opened immediately! They were all so grateful and surprised!
  • Pastor Jay was thrilled with all of the stockings from our Georgia friends! With your help, 50 kids will receive a full stocking for the first time...what a great way to show Christ to the nations!
  • Julie Emerson helped us to deliver presents only to be the recipients of gifts herself. She was completely overwhelmed and thankful to everyone who participated in helping her. You provided gifts for a family that would not have otherwise had anything!
  • Pastor Jay had just finished telling us a story about Pauletta from a couple of weeks ago. She walked home from church and fell going up a hill. She couldn't get up and spent almost 8 hours lying on the hill by herself. Finally, her son found her, and she was okay....what a reminder of how frail life is sometimes. We surprised her at home with gifts that made her face light up....pure joy!
  • Cheryl Miller will be spending her first Christmas in a home! She and her children already put up a tree with homemade decorations (so creative)! We were able to fill the base of the tree with gifts for their family. They were so thankful and excited!
  • Matt Hall, the police officer who works closely with us, was also surprised to be the recipient of gifts....probably his first gifts from a believer...what a seed was planted. We may never know the eternal results.
  • Jay and Donna were shocked to find out that someone had sent gifts for them. They were thrilled and overhwhelmed by the kindness!

May the name of the Lord be lifted up and glorified through this ministry. May His name be praised and exalted by the nations!

1 comment:

Anne Elisabeth said...

so...REALLY? I mean I can't read your blog without crying!! I love you and your family and what you do for the people you serve! All I know is that God is going to reward you awesomely in heaven. I just need to know one thing...when we all get there can I hang out in ya'lls mansion???