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No More Toys in the Inn – December 23, 2016

Grace came into our mission Tuesday night in search of me for the two little ones next to her. They had just stood outside in the cold for hours at another location for a Christmas event and as they reached the door they were told, “We’ve reached our limit for kids.”

A little boy with her around 9 years old and a young girl about 12 years stood beside her with their eyes looking up at me.

In all her bravado, the young girl’s eyes filled with tears that turned into tired, cold, hungry and heart hurting sobs.

I am grateful for Grace. Taking care of these two children, she knew where to come to for help. Refuge of Hope is a refuge of hope for so many.

I see Grace advocating for these children and remember this past year filled with pain as she lost her daughter to heroine a little over a year ago. I remember the day she came in through the mission’s doors recently in tears, not wanting a meal, but needing prayer. It was the anniversary of her daughter’s death and she came and asked I pray for her, a hug while she cried, and to spend some time with Prayer Partner Bob, our faithful and trustworthy prayer partner who so many have come to know and love and pray with.

Grateful for all those who donated gifts for children, I told them if they come back tomorrow night we have an incredible amount of gifts we are letting children pick out.

“Do you promise?” the little boy asked very seriously. I smiled and said, “I promise!” A smile of hope crossed his face in the sweetest way a child does when they dream of toys at Christmas.

They couldn’t stay and eat, they had a ride waiting to pick them up. Dinner to-go boxes were packed up for them to take as they left.

The next evening the mission with filled with little ones. I went outside to bring the other little ones waiting because we were full so they get the thrill of running in and picking out a couple items they want before the adults pick their presents for Christmas morning.

Grace and the kids were there. I hugged them and told them how glad I was that they came, that they are in for a wonderful surprise with so many presents. The kids excited, the young girl stood with something in her hands. It was a card, a little wrapped present and a note folded very tight and small, for me.

I hugged her again and she just beamed with excitement.

Smiling happy faces as the children saw many long tables stacked high and stuffed below with countless presents. Where to begin looking? So much to see!

While they were picking their presents, I opened my Christmas card, unfolded the note and opened the little present with a “thank you” ribbon from little ones who proudly gave me what they have.


Grateful to God to be exactly where I was.

Blessed with our mission’s generous donors.

Thankful for Grace that she knew where to bring these children.

Believing in the magic of Christmas.

Merry Christmas,