It’s Christmas day and I have to say this is one of the best Christmas’s I have had. The family all came over this morning and we did our usual Christmas morning ritual. We opened presents, watched the kids play with their toys and ate Christmas breakfast. As we were finishing up breakfast a knock came at the door. I went over to open it and a young women was standing there dressed in a winter coat and hat. I did not recognize her, but felt like she was someone I knew. I invited her in and wished her a “Merry Christmas.” She replied back in a shy, sort of way. I said, “I’m sorry, I think I should know you, but my mind is shot this morning due to all the kids being here.” We laughed and she relaxed. She began to talk and started to tell me of a story of over 20 years ago. She said she and her parents and siblings used to live on our street. She said they used to ride their bikes in front of my house and used to wave as they played. As she talked I started to remember some kids that used to live a couple of houses down and how nice they seemed to be. I asked her her name and she said Allison. I invited Allison into our living room and asked her if she would like some tea. We talked more. She told me of how her mom and dad moved away when she was around 13 and how she missed this area. The one thing she told me is that one summer our kids were going to our VBS at church and were challenged to invite neighbors and friends. We invited Allison and her siblings and took them to VBS. That year at VBS I was in charge of the crafts.
Allison shared that at that VBS she heard the story of the birth of Jesus for the first time. That day we made a craft, it was a wooden Nativity that was made out of clothes pins. Allison pulled the Nativity that we made that year. It was still intact! Allison said that she kept that Nativity because it reminded her of a wonderful summer and how she learned that Jesus loved her.
I wish I could say that Allison went on to be some great missionary or something like that, but she had a lot of struggles. She went through a rebellious stage, had a marriage that fell apart after 9 months, and had a child from that marriage that the father has nothing to do with. Allison said that she always kept that Nativity and when times were the hardest she remembered the story of Jesus. Years later, Allison decided to have a real relationship with Jesus. She committed her life to Jesus and now helps families that are on their way to being homeless. She shares the gospel on a daily basis and loves each family as if they were her own.
Actually as I type this, she did go on to do something great!
Allison is now married to a wonderful Christian man and has a total of 4 kids which she makes sure go to VBS each summer. She also holds VBS on the streets of the city to families and kids who may never hear the story of Jesus.
I write this to say, invite the kids to church, hold VBS, do the crafts and more.(even if you think they aren’t worth it). We never know what sticks with kids, we never know what they will hold on to, we never know when the seed will sprout and grow and move on to plant more seeds and harvest more for Jesus.
Allison and I will keep in touch and I think I will even help this summer at her VBS. I love how kids learn and will always be amazed at how God used clothespins to teach his message.