Unification News for January 1995
True Meaning of Christmas
Last year, through the grace of God, our family was finally able to move to our hometown of Palm Coast, Florida. Along with Tom's brother, who is now a blessed church member, we were able to purchase the home previously owned by Tom's parents.
Already Tom's parents had died, but had left a foundation of heart and love for this community. Though it has been hectic this first year trying to make a financial foundation here, our sincerest desire was that the house we bought could soon be used to restore others and bring them to God and True Parents.
In the past few months God sent many neighbors and contacts we were able to connect with in our hometown area, so we decided this "Christmas" we would show them the "true meaning of Christmas."
Recently we had met one couple from Communist China who not only didn't believe in God, but had never been to an American Christmas celebration. Also, God sent two very nice East Indian families into our lives as neighbors and friends.
Having fundraised on every Christmas for almost the last 18 years, my husband and I were determined to create a "real Christmas" atmosphere for our friends and neighbors. Also, with the support of our wonderful Northern Florida church families, God was able to create an unforgettable experience for all.
We put up lights and Christmas tree with all handmade ornaments from Tom's mother, grandmother and aunts, and had two new ones engraved with True Father and True Mother and one for the True Children, to put on our family tree. Our son, with help from some neighbor children, decorated all the windows with snow (since we live in Florida) and we opened the house to all our neighbors, contacts and church members for a wonderful international potluck Christmas party and Sunday service.
Richard Sapp, our excellent pastor and city leader from Jacksonville, gave a moving sermon on "The True Meaning of Christmas" and why the True Parents have come, based on biblical history. Because our guests were Hindu, Zoroastrian and atheist, they were hearing about Jesus for the first time. He concluded his sermon with a testimony about Rev. and Mrs. Moon and the importance and need for True Parents at this time in history.
Our assistant pastor and Sunday school teacher, Lenny Thiesen, gave a wonderful talk to the children during the service. And we were especially blessed that Lenny's elderly father drove by himself for over an hour to attend the service, too! We really felt he represented all the grandparents in our tribe.
Everyone brought a food from their country, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and American, plus our seven-year-old son David baked over two hundred Christmas cookies. We also had a wonderful birthday celebration for two members, and Christmas presents were given to all the children.
Even my son's first-grade teacher stopped in for a visit and stayed for over an hour talking about God with us.
In total, we had about forty people in our small home. Even the cold from a very wild rainstorm could not dampen God's warm spirit inside. Finally the sun came out and smiled on our heavenly gathering as the children played with bubbles on the lawn. Our last guest finally left about 9pm. In parting, our communist friends said they "had been hoping to meet an American family they could become friends with." We told them, that is why "God sent them to us." They responded by saying, "Maybe soon we will believe in God, too!"
It is our hope that someday we will be able to bring all of our neighbors, friends and family to hear about God and True Parents.
At least for now, this Christmas was a wonderful beginning!
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