by Lt. Colonel David Harvey
Secretary for Business Administration

You see it every day on the streets and in our corps, people with their heads down. They are ashamed to look up at those around them. They feel defeated by their circumstances and don’t know how they are going to make it.

Linda was among them. I met her at Christmas when I was a corps officer. Taking a break from my work, I went down to the chapel to see how the Christmas assistance registrations were going. As I greeted the volunteers, one of them motioned me over to her table. She introduced me to Linda, saying, “This is our major. He might be able to help you.” I sat down with them both and heard Linda’s story. She’d recently had both legs amputated due to an infection. Since the infection couldn’t be controlled, the doctors had told her extended family she’d never leave the hospital and, in fact, would die there.

However, Linda ended up living. But when she returned home, she had nothing. Her extended family had taken all her possessions—and wouldn’t give them back! She not only needed Christmas assistance but furnishings for herself and her children. We prayed with Linda, and she said she felt better. Then between our soldiers and the thrift store, our corps was able to bless her home with the furnishings she needed. Subsequently, she and her children started attending the corps where they learned about Jesus who gives new hope in life.

So, in your busy schedule today take time to stop by a program, stand by a kettle worker or join the circle of volunteers as they take a break. Hear their stories, share a prayer, invite them to another activity or program which might bring them closer to God. Share the hope you have in God, who created Christmas by coming to the earth for us.

While people might enter our buildings looking down, facing hopeless situations, they have a chance to encounter the God of all hope through you.

May we pray and live out Romans 15:13 (NIV): “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” this Christmas season.

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