Last week, three days before Christmas Eve, our office received a frantic call from a local church. The pastor was working with a couple, Kurt and Megan, who were stranded in town due to car problems, a lack of money and few resources.
The pastor was in search of whatever resources were out there to assist the couple. They needed a warm place to stay, like a hotel room, food, and car repair money, if possible. They had spent the previous night in their car even though it did not run due to broken parts and had no heat.
This was Christmas weekend and I felt terrible for Kurt and Megan. I informed the pastor that due to the late hour on the Friday before a holiday weekend there was nothing we could do about a hotel room, but we could surely give them some food to eat, and some to last for a few days.
It seems they had relatives that were going to wire them some money and because it was Christmas weekend everything was closed or running slower than normal. I advised them to come to our office and we could talk further.
When they got to our Emergency Assistance Center, they were very grateful for us for being able to help them however we could. They shared that because of the holiday weekend they were told it would take at least 48 hours for the wired money to arrive. We came up with a plan where the church would pay for a couple nights at the hotel and we would give them some food to last them until they could get home.
We gave them mostly pop top stuff crackers, peanut butter, as they had no way to cook. We were also able to give them gloves, scarfs, and hats – although Kurt was adamant it would have to get pretty darn cold for him to wear a hat, we gave them one anyway. As they were leaving, Megan paused to look at the picture of all the church doors by our front entrance. She commented how lovely they were. Megan shared she used to sing in a choir before she had her tracheotomy. I had noticed the hole in her throat, but of course said nothing, as she was full of hope saying that the operation was a complete success, that her throat was healing just fine, and that her plans were to start singing in the choir again as soon as possible.
Kurt and Megan were so grateful for our help that they said even being stranded may be a blessing as it allowed them to meet all of these wonderful people and be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. What a joyful attitude they had! We exchanged hugs, wished Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and gave thanks to God for putting us in each other’s paths.
So, they were off, to a nice warm hotel room, with several bags of food, gloves, hats, scarfs and feelings of hope and happiness that they had gotten some help and the money was on the way. The pastor and I high fived, said we would be in touch, and they were off.
As they left and turned the corner, I saw Kurt pull out the hat we gave him and put it on. I chuckled to myself and said “Thank you Lord, Hope Changes Everything.”