Chuck Colson passed onto heavens gates this week at the age of 80. Many of you may not be old enough to remember the name that admitted to being guilty over the bugging of the Watergate Hotel and brought down President Richard Nixon. He was arrogant and uppity before this happened. Many remember this.
What you may not know is that this very same man admitted his guilt in this travesty, he went to prison, served his time and became a man of God that reached out to not only the prisoners, but their families especially their children as part of Angel Tree Ministries.
Many of you have been with me for a long time and know how my heart feels about this agency and how they have touched my families life for so many years. You see, my son is in prison and he has been there since 2007/08 and has another 6 years to go.
His children that are beautiful, peaceful, loving, kind and have hearts for Jesus, live with my husband and I. They are the reason many mornings in spite of my pain, I can rise above it, thank God for the day and get out of bed, grab my walker or cane and shuffle my way around for the first 30-45 minutes of my day...then I am fine.
We get so many compliments about these beautiful children. They are helpful, they always smile, they help other students, they stand up for other students, they are so happy, they are true angels from God and they are happy!
They didn't ask to have their dad go to prison, but he did. They know why he is there, we and he have always been up front with them and this past week-end my grandson told someone else why his dad was there...no judgement, just facts and he looked to me for approval. Yes, it is okay to tell people the truth!
Does it mean their hearts don't break? No! Their hearts break like any other childs and more so sometimes I believe. But they have a strong faith in God. When they pray in the morning, they pray for their daddy to find Jesus, they pray for a miracle for him to come home early, they pray for his safety, they pray for their mom and her family, they pray for our community and at meal time and bedtime. Their prayers are strong and peaceful!
Christmas comes around and they become antsy, their dad becomes antsy...have we heard from Angel Tree yet? Do we know what they kids want? Has Jody called yet? Jody is our Angel Tree church leader and last year, she opened her heart and let us give back. I got to make the phone calls and talk to family members, the kids got to help with setting up the church on gift day. Giving back that is what Chuck Colson did.
Chuck Colson saw a need in not only the prisoners, but their families. He knew there were children suffering, he knew many of them would not receive any Christmas gift and he stepped up and followed his heart and Gods lead. He gave back over and over and over again.
So many times at Christmas I have heard adults say horrible things about Angel Tree:
1- Let the kids go without
2- They will turn out just like their parents
3-Their parents are in prison, so why should we care?
4-Parents shouldn't have kids if they can't take care of them.
I can go on and on and it breaks my heart! These children didn't do anything wrong. These children didn't cause their parents to go to prison. They want to be children just like your children do. They want to go to daddy/daughter dances with their daddy not their foster parent, grandparent, uncle, moms boyfriend, etc. They want to talk to their parents about their day at school not on a phone with a piece of glass between them. They want to be hugged and held when they fall down by their dads and mom.
How can people be so cruel to a child? I don't get it. Neither did Mr. Colson and he worked to make sure every child got at least one gift at Christmas. How many gifts do your children get? Some of these children only get that one gift and many times they don't get them until after Christmas because the need is so great and sometimes the gifts aren't there, but they never get left out!
My grandchildren care nothing about what is under the Christmas tree each year except the gift that has the Angel Tree tag on it and a special message from their daddy and they don't care what that gift is, it is more precious to them than diamonds, rubies or gold because it is from their daddy. They know someone else picked it out, but they know he told them what to get, he wrote the special message and those gifts along with his letters, are lovingly cared for.
Every year Angel Tree asks churches to reach out and become an Angel Tree church. You can help them help these children and in the long run with such a wonderful gesture, you are helping bring a prisoner hope. Our Angel Tree church sends pictures to the prisoner and writes letters encouraging the prisoner to stay strong. Don't you want to be a part of that? Wouldn't it just overwhelmingly warm your heart to have someone walk into your church and say: 'my name is ???, I was in prison for???, this church gave to my children and I gave my heart to Jesus, I am a productive member of this community or another community because you cared for my child and prayed for me?
You can donate to Angel Tree today. It only costs $11.24 less than a weeks worth of Starbucks to help one child get a gift this coming Christmas. You can start donating now and help 8 children with a monthly donation of $12. I give back every year. You can call Angel Tree at (800) 552-6435 and ask what can I do to help.
You can talk to your pastors and others at your church and see about becoming an Angel Tree church and don't worry if there is another church in the area...work together to see no child goes without. then you set up an Angel Tree in your church with the little angels and info on it and set a day to get the gifts back, get the teens involved have them help wrap and tag the gifts, set up a date for pick-up and have a small party with finger foods, music, etc. Get blessed by blessing others.
We can all complain about the economy and how bad it is and I agree with you. I can't find work and have even been denied volunteer positions with the State of Washington and been turned down for Americorps positions. But I know God has plans for me. God also has plans for these children to grow up knowing someone cared enough to not leave them behind or left out!
I started this post today to show a video on Mr. Colson, God led me in another direction. Perhaps you are wondering what you can do to help others during these tough times? Perhaps you want to know how to help children? Your church group is looking to reach others? If you reach the children, the parents will follow, I believe that.
Rest in Peace Mr. Colson.
**I was NOT asked by Angel Tree to post this. I am not receiving compensation for posting this! I just believe that everyone and every child deserves to be cared about!**