Good News Christmas
Giving is a Christ-like quality. God gives gifts to the world the most like a planet on which to live, containing everything humans need to survive and thrive for long fruitful lives. The purpose of life is to prepare to meet God.
What better way to prepare for this glorious reunion than giving others the things that they need and gifting wants? The article entitled, Warmth at Christmas tells the story of how Christmas was taken from a family by fire. The following is how the kindness of a friend gave them more than they had before physically and hope for a brighter future. As the Lord did for Job, and in his meek commission, "the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." Job 1:21
Where Shall We Go?
Rod and Afryka Johnson months prior, took a trip to Peoria, Arizona, with their family looking for another place to live based on a dream Afryka had about moving near one of the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both of them wanted to live near a temple because it represents the pinnacle of their faith in Jesus Christ of service and worship. The dream inspired them to seek out the congregations in the local of the Phoenix Arizona Temple situated North Phoenix near Peoria.
Afryka's inspiration to visit different congregations in the vicinity of the Phoenix Temple convinced the family to visit the congregation called the Sonoran Mountain Ward where they met the Hansens, Taryn & Colby, for lunch after the meetings. Taryn and Afryka became fast friends relating on a common spiritual need to live near the temple proving fortuitous after the fire that devastated them months later.
Most of the work finding a place for the homeless family fell to Afryka because Rod busily worked a new job. Fortunately, extended family members helped with the transportation of their kids and Rod back and forth to school and work.
The Christmas fire devastated the family, but the outpouring of love that came from extended family and friends in the community softened the blow of the fire and displacement this family suffered to the point where they only worried about clearing out their burned-out dwelling of nine years and seeking a new residence.
"the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." Job 1:21
Nine years that house served as home for these people. Friendships and community came to fruition in that community where kids grew. Church relationships and associations matured into loving family bonds in that community... It was time to go...
People Who Care
Taryn made it her life's purpose to help Afryka and her family recover from this devastating blow of losing a home. Inspired by God to do so, she started a campaign in her community and through social media to raise money to help the family with finances. Rod and Afryka had not thought to prepare for a fire. Indigent circumstances put them in a position depending on the charity of others having no fire protection insurance at the time. Their finances bereft them proper means to start a new life in a new location for a family with six kids and two adults. Taryn used her influence to get the media involved and the following video shows what happened:
Safe And Sound
The community outpouring of love and support overwhelmed the family as gifts came in from extended family and friends of cash assistance, clothing, supplies, food items, and goods. Both public and private assistance blessed the family to the point where needs no longer posed an issue. The Johnson received some wants also!
Between the Red Cross, family, and friends, the kids all had at least one gift to open, but no place to live other than the charity of strangers. what happened next came as a surprise, a true Christmas miracle caught on television.
Both public and private assistance blessed the family to the point where needs no longer posed an issue.
The Bittersweets of Christmas
Christmas 2016 began an extraordinarily sad time for the family. It also yielded the sweet reward of love through blessings for the family. Suffering loss can destroy the spirit, especially on sacred holidays such as Christmas when most people focus on giving and receiving gifts in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Things lost in a fire, even if easily replaced cause emotional and psychological harm. Family members can not replace things like a favorite chair or pair of socks. The Johnsons lost a memorial to Zipporah, number six of seven children. Afryka and Rod never wanted to leave that place because of the connection it has with their daughter, but the fire snuffed it out.
Nine years that house served as home for these people. Friendships and community came to fruition in that community where kids grew. Church relationships and associations matured into loving family bonds in that community.
It was time to go, leaving the old familiar environs for a new challenge in a different and better place than before. The new Christmas tree stood in girth and height larger than the one in the burned home. The presents, so numerous that they filled the sitting room of the new house, subdued them. The one thing that did not change was the familiar Spirit felt in Church at the new congregation. In answer to Afryka's prayer, the family received a home next to the temple.
Phoenix Arizona Temple
See The Good Things
With the tragedies that happen in the world, it's important to point out the miracles that happen many times over more than the tragedies of life. For the billions of inconveniences and unfortunate things that occur to the human family, millions of billions of things, good and satisfying, happen.
God bless all at Christmas time and throughout the year.
- Warmth at Christmas
The warmth at Christmas time comes in many forms and from the most unexpected places. In the following true story, the warmth at Christmas was real and palpable from the heart to the skin and vice-versa.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson