Without a doubt a highlight of each Christmas season is the Living Stones Christmas Party.
Lauren is a major part of our party – a reason to gather. You see – Lauren is an angel to children in the CPS (Child Protective Services) system. She is a caseworker – yes, one of the overworked and underpaid people you read about in the newspaper. Lauren mentioned tonight that maybe she has thirty-five cases under her watch. She visits with each foster home monthly, supervises parent visits, and attends court sessions. She was on vacation for two days, and when she returned, she had nine new cases. In November, several (I think it was 4 or 5.) caseworkers resigned, and the other caseworkers had to pick up those cases also. It is a job that is beyond hard, and Lauren serves these children and their families in such a loving way.
The Living Stones Bible Fellowship class became involved with a CPS caseworker after dear friend BB’s daughter Heather died. Heather loved children and was always a champion of the less fortunate. In her honor, we began “adopting” a caseworker. Lauren is our caseworker. If Lauren needs something special for one of the children, the Living Stones can be called for help. Each Christmas members of the Living Stones provide Christmas gifts for children in Lauren’s group. It is similar to an Angel Tree. We only know these children by first names, but some of them we have “known” for several years. Some children have been in “the system” for years, and we rejoice when they are adopted or are able to return to their homes.
The Christmas party is our time to bring the gifts for our children. This is the only picture I got of the gifts. (Sorry!) They completely covered the wall of the dining room. Lauren will be able to share these gifts with the children during the month of December.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Because He gave us our greatest gift, we strive to be His hands and feet in our world today.
Several things mentioned tonight touched me. We were sharing with the newer members of our class some of the Living Stones’ mission endeavors – CPS, Mercy Street, Cornerstone, Valley Missions to name a few. Then Carol who is an associate of our class (She teaches little children) said (I can’t remember exactly what she said, but this is what I remember.) what impressed her about these women is how mission minded they are in their daily lives. They strive to serve the Lord in so many ways that others never know. That was nice.
Then Judy added that she always thought of the verse -
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12: 48)
We have been given so much, and we are accountable for being good stewards. Everyone agreed.
Friend BB then shared a story from her dear brother-in-law’s funeral. One act of kindness resulted in a man becoming a Christian, and then that man became a minister for the Lord that touched many more lives. We never know what ripple effect our actions may have. Food for thought.
Blessings to you and yours,
Do NOT get the idea that this was a “churchy” party. This bunch is rowdy and full of fun. (Sometimes we worry what visitors might think.)
Sweet Mother of Pearl. Linda’s home was beautiful and the decorations were beyond wonderful All of the food was delicious. I will share more in future posts. Maybe I can even get some of the recipies.