THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
(A True Story of God’s Faithfulness Over 40 Christmas’s)
In the 1970s Pastor LeRoy and Evelyn Dick ministered at the Pittsburgh Church of the Brethren. Across the bridge, about two miles away, was another church called Anne Ashley UM Church and, in that church, there were several people who would come to the Pittsburgh COB for Bible study and Sunday night services under LeRoy’s leadership. During those years Leroy and Evelyn and Janet Uplinger and others became good friends.
In 1976 after LeRoy went to Haiti on a mission trip, he felt God calling him to Haiti and requested that God inform Evelyn. They embraced the call to a new ministry from God. But over the years their friends never forgot them and were in contact with them in Haiti.
In 1986 Anne Ashley Church received a new pastoral family, Rev Greg and Bonnie Golden. In the early 1990s, Janet approached me and asked if a missionary couple from Haiti might come and speak at the church. As early as we can determine, it was 1995 when LeRoy and Evelyn first stopped and shared and ministered at Anne Ashley Church in Munhall, PA. That began an association that has lasted to the present time.
After LeRoy and Evelyn had visited Anne Ashley Church two or three times I asked them, “Do you think we could bring a work team to Haiti and do something?” They responded with a rousing “YES!” And so, Anne Ashley Church sent their first work team of ten people in 2001 to paint the inside of the original Vine Church storefront building.
In 2009, Bonnie and I received a new appointment to Trinity UM Church in Indiana PA. In January 2010, the earthquake hit and our church took up an offering as most churches did. But because I had been to Haiti several times, we also began planning a mission trip to Haiti from Trinity Church for 2011.
On that first trip was a young adult named Stacy. The trip so blessed her and the Haitian people, especially the children, so captured and touched her heart that even as Trinity Church sent four more work teams over the next 7 years, Stacey and her husband Rick would make six more trips to Haiti over the next 3 years. Why? Because through a new friend in Haiti they contacted an orphanage and, in that orphanage, they met two beautiful children, Taicha and Ester.
In October of 2014 after three years of hard work, trips, labor, money, forms, and interviews, Taicha and Ester came to the US to join their forever family.
A pastoral couple receives a new calling to Haiti, their friends receive a new pastor, their pastor receives a new church, and a couple in the church receives a new family. Timeline: 38 years.
To me, this is the story of God's Amazing Grace and the Stunning Faithfulness of our God. I believe that when LeRoy and Evelyn were BORN, Taicha and Ester were already on the horizon of HIS PLAN.
Christmas is the celebration of the gift of and creation of a new family. The gift of a baby to a humble couple sheltered in a stable; the gift of God’s new family to all the world, through the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, residing in the mind of God from the beginning of time.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
We thank you for your faithfulness to the ministry of Vine Church and Vine Ministry. Please continue to be in prayer for the Haitian nation in their time of critical need.
Thank you and God bless,
Rev Greg Golden, Executive Director
412-965-5505 | firstname.lastname@example.org
P.O. Box 1435 Indiana, PA 15701-5435
Evelyn Dick, Founder
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