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  • Writer's pictureNeil Allen

When Life, Faith, and Love Merge

Probably all of us have had those wonderful experiences when the things we love, the people that leave footprints in our lives and faithfulness all merge in a single moment.

The story of this nativity is just one of those great moments

Four key people (yes, I'm one), merged one Sunday Afternoon at our church. If you haven't guessed, I'm a nativity collector. Another person in that foursome is former mission partner with lots of connections to all things related to helping people. The third key person in this merger was one of those connections the second person made. Her name is unimportant, and her mission has changed dramatically over the years, but her focus on helping the people of Haiti has remained strong for nearly 20 years.

The fourth person in this merger will be introduced later. For now, I just want you to focus on the mission partner I met that day. At that important time in her mission work she was trying to help Haitians keep their children, and not put them up for adoption (a choice few of us have likely ever faced). In her work, our unnamed mission partner was teaching these parents how to make necessary income to accomplish the important work of child-raising during a terrible moment in Haitian life. Perhaps you will recall the massive earthquakes that rocked Haiti.

Through her mission work, and our selling of their products, she was able to help many parents do that very essential thing of generating income for the families at a critical juncture. I choose to let her be unnamed, as she represented many unnamed Haitian parents and children.

It was a good feeling to meet my new friend that day and learn of her work. For several years we were able to share their products and collect needed items for the growing number of families they were helping.

Fast forward through lots of life-changes for all of us, to one year ago when I got a phone call from the fourth person in this merger. She had been part of selling, collecting, helping project through person 3, but had moved to Florida. She called ne excited that she had accidentally bumped into our unnamed mission partner. Person #4 said, "You'll never guess who I found and what she is selling from Haiti."

With "visions of nativities dancing in my head" like sugar plums, she told me a package would arrive at my doorstep to add to our collection.

This lovely carving came at two other important times. One when we were just setting up the first showing of our collection since the pandemic started and two, when the mission partner was moving her mission back to Haiti.

In that one brief moment of merger, four lives PLUS the artist that is also unidentified merged into the one life of Jesus. The brief moment when our lives intersected seems miraculous.

Here is the question I"m pondering: how many more lives merged in this one moment? Surely there are the lives of all the children my mission friend touched. There are the lives the people who bought the products that helped the mission, that helped the children.

My take away: cherish each moment. Cherish the nativity

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