Sharing Christmas with the children at The Dwelling Place brings some memorable moments for me.
Recently I was with the children during their Confident Kids time. One of our young girls asked if I wanted to see her Christmas tree. She took me to the rooms she shares with her mother and sister to see a tree decorated with red and white ornaments and a star on top. A few presents sat below. She touched her favorite ornaments and told me how much she loved the lights. I thanked God for bringing her family to us and for the delight she could have this year with her Christmas tree.
December 14 was The Dwelling Place Christmas Party with all of our women, children, staff and guests at a local church. Our program team worked very hard and made it a special time for everyone, complete with activities and games for the children and adults. One activity was to answer Bible Trivia questions while enjoying our potluck dinner.
Kristen Nelson, our director of programs, and I were sharing the meal with some of the moms and boys. Kristen asked, "What were the gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus?" One of the boys spoke up right away, with a sincere confidence on his face that told us he knew the answer to this question! He responded, "They brought clothes for the baby, food for the baby, and diapers!" He was not trying to be clever or cute about it. This is a personal reality he has because he knows the gifts provided for his little sister.
Honestly, when the real answer was shared as being "gold, frankincense, and myrrh" his bewildered expression revealed that gifts like that made no sense to him at all! The significance of the biblical message was harder for him to grasp than the practical reality that he knows so very well. It was clear that, in his opinion, the Wise Men were not very smart when it came to babies and their needs!
Every day I witness how our families receive more than a safe place to call home or put up a Christmas tree.
At The Dwelling Place every woman and child is offered the gift of Christ's love (shared in various ways with staff and each other) so that each one might personally receive His love for them, know Him through His Word, and discover His abiding presence as Emmanuel, "God with us!" I have seen how our ministry partners and supporters share in this hope and prayer for each woman and child as it becomes a reality.
In each of these ways (and so many more) I find new gifts that God has given to me this year by opening the door of The Dwelling Place as a place of ministry and service.
May you experience the amazing blessings of His love and joy at Christmas and in the new year ahead!
Mission Advancement Director