Over Christmas, I served with Border Blessings in Mission, Texas. One of the things we did while on the field was partnering with Angel Tree, a ministry that allows inmates in prison to write a message to their child(ren) from prison and, through donations, Angel Tree sends the child(ren) a Christmas present. Our task was to wrap the presents, put the message from the mother or father in prison on it and hand-deliver the present to the home of the child(ren).
Recently, my family has been going through something very similar. About six months ago, my brother-in-law was convicted of a crime and was going to be sent to jail for the next 10 years, plus an additional 10 years of probation after that. My sister would have had to take care of their three kids (3-years-old, 1.5-years-old, and 3-months-old) with no job. God was gracious to our family and he wasn’t sent to jail, but he had to go 2 months without being able to see his children, and that alone wrecked all of us.
I came down here to the border thinking I wouldn’t be able to relate in any way to the people. I am not Hispanic and I have never had to experience part of my family being separated on the other side of the border. But God knew why I was placed there. I got to hand-deliver presents to children, knowing the pain of those receiving the gift. It’s not something I can put into words. The pain of not having your parents near. The pain of not getting the see your child. But God used my team and me to bridge that gap between parent and child this week. It gave me such a clear and beautiful image of how Jesus bridged the gap between us and our Father. God was very gracious in what He did in my heart and in what He did for the families we served. It was nothing we did. God just used our hands to spread His hope and love to those who needed it this Christmas. We serve a wonderful God.
Halle Smith is a Go Now missionary who served in Mission, Texas, over Christmas break.