Let your light shine: Grace

Mike Graff from Crown of Life, Hubertus, Wis., shares a Christmas story that shows how anyone can share their faith and make a difference—no matter what their age.

For the past few years during Advent, our congregation has partnered with Institutional Ministries to collect personal need items, clothing and Christmas presents for the people they serve.

Around the middle of November 2014, I was approached by one of my favorite “little people” and asked an important question: “Mr. Graff, are we going to have that Christmas tree for the things to help people again.”

I thanked Grace for reminding me and told her that the Christmas tree should be going up soon. Little did I know she had a plan.

Grace’s mom e-mailed me more about Grace’s plan. She wrote:

“At the beginning of November Grace asked me if church was going to have ‘that tree for the things to help other people’ again. I told her we could ask you about it next time we saw you at church.

“A couple days later she asked if I thought our family might want to donate things to put under the tree as well. I told her they probably would love to do that.

“This led to her getting the idea to write a letter to all of her closest friends and relatives explaining Institutional Ministries’ mission and asking them if they would help her collect items to donate. She offered to shop for those who didn’t feel like shopping.

“She sent out her letters and also told anyone who would listen. She collected $240, plus numerous bags of items. As she started receiving calls and letters with donations, she insisted we make a shopping list of items that people would really need. She thought of everything from diapers to deodorant to warm blankets to “Jesus” books (‘so that they can learn about Jesus too,’ she said). She was amazed at how much she collected! She told me, ‘Wow, Mom, my little idea is going to turn into a lot of big smiles!’

“She also decided that she wanted to give something from her personally, so she chose to make fleece knot blankets for babies. At one point, while making the blankets, she was getting frustrated because ‘her fingers weren’t working well,’ so she stopped and said, ‘When I’m frustrated I’m just going to think of the happy face of the mom wrapping her baby in this blanket and the warm baby smiling; then I will have perseverance!’ (Yes, she does know the meaning of that word!). When she was finished with the blankets, she asked if we could put a ribbon around them with a note that said ‘Jesus loves you!’ Of course, I said yes.

“She told me she did this because Jesus tells us to help others, so that’s what she did.”

When given praise for the work she had done, Grace said she didn’t do it for that (meaning the praise). She said she did it because she wanted all of these people to know that Jesus loves them.

Oh yes. I did forget to mention something . . . Grace is six years old.

May our triune God keep the fire in your heart for outreach that Grace has demonstrated this Christmas!



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Volume 102, Number 12
Issue: December 2015

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