My life has been so blessed. We found the gospel in the early seventies and it has enriched our lives in every possible way.
In my line of work, I see so much sadness. Broken families, broken hearts. When I think about the richness and blessings the gospel has brought into my life I know I must give something back, particularly to those who have not found the gospel as I have.
Back in the early eighties, my children and I were looking for service opportunities as a way of showing more appreciation for what we had at Christmas time. It all began one year when we served dinner for the homeless and families in need, at the town hall. That’s where it used to be held. It was a sweet, spiritual experience that meant so much to us as a family.
Since that first involvement, I have tried not to miss a year. We serve at the Auckland City Mission now and it has been going for nearly thirty years. Over the years many different family members have come to join us; siblings, nieces and nephews, depending on who’s around or their circumstances at the time.
For my children and I, this Christmas tradition has taught us humility. It has taught us to appreciate what the Atonement has given us. Everything we have we owe to the Saviour’s Atonement. When I see so much on our table and so much under the tree at Christmas time, I know it is because of the blessings of the gospel that have enriched our lives.
Jesus Christ loves all mankind. I’ve felt that same compassion for those who come to the City Mission Christmas luncheon. Regardless of situation or background, we welcome all who walk through those doors, just as the Saviour would. I love seeing them and treating them like family, especially those who are disabled or homeless.
The Saviour carried the cross without complaint. He suffered pain for my sins and never once did He say He can’t do it anymore, nor did He give up. Knowing what He suffered for me I must give something back to Him by serving and ministering to others in need.
I will keep this tradition as long as I am able to. I don’t know how long that will be, but Christ never gave up on what He came to this earth to do for me. Until the Lord needs me elsewhere you will find me serving the Lord and His children at the Auckland City Mission this Christmas and many Christmases after.