I just wanted to give a quick update, and a VERY BIG THANK YOU for all your prayers!
I just received word, my son is out of surgery and in ICU. He is doing well!!!
He was born with Aortic Stenosis, a defective heart valve. They have waited for years for technology to improve in replacing these valves. He now has a mechanical valve which should last a lifetime, and without further surgeries.
I am a very thankful mother this morning! God blessed me with three beautiful sons. My oldest went Home and walks with Jesus. My youngest went Home for a visit, but was returned to us. Now my second son has a new heart. And I pray it will always be filled with a love for Jesus!
With all my heart, I thank you all so much for your prayers! I know God hears, and answers. He has surrounded with caring and kind hearts that have lifted me up and encouraged me with hope! He gives me courage to face the storms, and strength to go through them. Thank You Jesus! – Amber
The Secret Christmas Wish
By Amber Leggette-Aldrich
It was early Christmas morning in 1968. I rushed out to the living room to see if my father was there. I had made a secret Christmas wish that Santa would bring him home that year. It had been so long since I had seen him and I was afraid that he had forgotten me. To know that he still loved me was the only thing I truly wanted for Christmas.
I tried my best not to show my disappointment. My mother did her absolute best to get a few nice gifts for me. But I didn’t tell her about my secret wish. It always made her cry to see how much I missed my father.
Thirty four years went by before my broken heart was healed after a caring soul taught me about Jesus. I was finally able to forgive my father for not being there for me. It was truly one of the most precious gifts I could have received. Without Jesus and the Gospel, that would never have happened.
One of the first things I learned after my own heart was healed was about reaching out to others that are hurting. The book of James has become one of my favorite books of the Bible. James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. “
Angel Tree is an organization that applies this biblical truth through reaching out to children of inmates and their parents. They help these inmates to reach out to their children, helping them to stay connected through providing a Christmas gift. Without their help, many of these children will experience a lonely and painful time, instead of sharing in the wonderful love that Christmas is all about.
Angel Tree is a part of the Prison Fellowship Organization. It was started 30 years ago by an ex-inmate, Mary Kay Beard. She started with 1 tree and 100 paper angels. Each angel represented a child of an inmate with a desired gift for that child. People took the angels from the tree and bought the gifts listed on them for the children and gave them on behalf of the incarcerated parent. Today over 9 million children have received an Angel Tree gift.
When I first heard about Angel Tree and what they do, I knew in my heart that God was giving me an opportunity to reach out with His love to help someone else that was hurting. To be able to give a child a simple gift and let them know they are loved is its own reward. To be able to share God’s Truth with them and their family is a priceless treasure. It could very well be the key to changing lives and healing broken hearts.
I now have a new Christmas wish. My wish is that no child will wake up wondering if their father or mother has forgotten them or if they are still loved. Won’t you join me by partnering with Angel Tree to help make this wish come true? Together we can make a difference. Donate now and give a gift of true love.
For more information on Angel Tree and how you can help visit http://www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree/
Don’t Cry Me A River, Help Me Dig A Well!
The haunting images of eyes glazing over with death as a child dies in your arms; the shrieking and wailing of mourning announcing the death of another family member; the sickening stench of contaminated living areas; this and much more is a daily way of life for too many.
The main culprit of this devastation is the lack of access to safe, clean water and sanitation. 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water. And 2.2 million people, most of them children, die each year from diseases related to unsafe water and unsanitary living conditions. This is a global water crisis, but there is a remedy.
There’s an old saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for lifetime”. What if that same principle was applied to the need for clean water? What if in the process of helping to provide the water, we could also provide skills to provide employment? This process could then be duplicated by the very people being helped, which in turn could be used to help others.
There have been technological advances that have created the means to install safe water wells and pumps, in a very affordable and feasible fashion. The materials used to build these wells and pumps are available nearly everywhere at a very reasonable cost. Once the local people are shown how to dig the wells properly and install the simple pumps, they not only have the means to provide fresh, clean water for themselves, but they can use the skills they have learned to help provide the same for others. This increases the rate at which this water crisis can be resolved.
If you could save a child from the agony of slow death, wouldn’t you try?
All too often the general response to this issue is “Well what can I do about it” or “What difference can I make”? Believe me, there is so much that can be done! It all begins with having the heart to care enough to want to help.
Many Christians consider the phrase “What would Jesus do?” when seeking guidance and direction. I think it’s fairly obvious what He would do here. I imagine He might also say, “Don’t cry me a river, help me dig a well”. While it may not be possible to go and help physically dig, you could sponsor a well with only a small donation. Be a hero, save a life.
For more information and to find out how you can help, please visit http://water4.org/simple-solution/
One Sunday morning little Johnny was helping his mother bring the food dishes into the dining hall of the church for the picnic that was to follow the service. Suddenly little Johnny bolted up the stairs to the church sanctuary. A short time later as the congregation had gathered, waiting for the service to begin, the pastor stood at the baptismal tank with a puzzled look on his face. He looked at the congregation and asked, “who put these eggs in the tank?” Little Johnny stood up and replied, “I did Pastor. They’re deviled eggs, so they need to be baptized!”
“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” (Luke 18:16-17)
None are too little, too young, to be brought to Christ, who knows how to show kindness to those not capable of doing service to him. It is the mind of Christ, that little children should be brought to him. The promise is to us, and to our seed; therefore He will bid them welcome to him with us. And we must receive his kingdom as children, not by purchase, and must call it our Father’s gift. (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)