Christmas Memory Album….

Flipping through the album of Christmas memories I see pictures of home decked with red bells around the living room mirror, stockings hung on the fireplace mantle, and a cedar tree glittering in the corner. Bing Crosby crooning on a vinyl record makes these memories dance.
Christmas offers a “thrill of hope” that winter tries to damper by chasing away the warmer days and colors of summer and fall.
At Christmas we recapture the heart of the child we used to be. Singing Christmas favorites with our children. Making candy with our spouse. Retelling stories with brothers, sisters, and cousins over hot tea and a slice of pie baked like grandma used to make.
Yet a faint gloom creeps in when the room is quiet and still.
As grateful as we are for the memories, they fall short of bringing us into the embrace of loved ones departed. The grandfather who showed you how to bait a hook. A mother who listened to you like you were the only person in the universe. The spouse, who spoke words the world found strange yet made you laugh or warmed your heart because you spoke those words too.
I think of the Shiloh kids. Some know gloom like the farmer knows seed and soil. Abuse and neglect has defined many of their tender years.
But friends like you have given them new snapshots to place in their albums of Christmas memories. Sadly, we cannot replace memories dark and painful, but we can add scenes of love, joy, and peace. Caroling. Delivering a care package to a needy family in town. Gathering around the table full of delicious and nutritious food.
Longfellow penned, “Into each life some rain must fall”. He speaks truth. We all face sorrow, injustice, and disease. But he also adds “Behind the clouds is the sun still shining”. Shiloh homeparents reveal this light of hope to the Shiloh children. But the homeparents can’t do it alone….
Your support of the Shiloh children lifts them high above the sorrow of abuse, neglect, and abandonment into the radiance of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Despite the consequences of sin that plagues abused children, God is in control. And just as He was present when earlier Christians faced hardship, He’s with the Shiloh kids today. They learn this because friends like you pray and generously share so they can live in loving homes at Shiloh.

Thank you for sharing a “thrill of hope” with abused, neglected, and troubled children this Christmas season.

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