I have found that God has plans to interrupt my busy schedule and cause me to focus on what truly matters in remembering the birth of our Saviour. He penetrated my efforts with a phone call from the Shamattwa Reserve. Carla, one of my students who had gone back to the reserve for the holidays needed my help. She asked me to go across town and rescue her siblings who were frightened by the antics of a drunken party. Apparently her mother had taken twelve-year-old Marvin and ten-year-old Marilyn to Thompson for some Christmas shopping but became involved in partying and the children were stranded and frightened. I quickly went to pick up the children, though we were strangers to them they came with us obviously relieved to find we were a good alternative to the loud partying...no one questioned where they were going or with whom they were going.
The children quickly entered into the move with helping hands to carry boxes, unpack and Marvin took the shovel to clear the driveway. Their laughter and willingness to help added an air of joy to the atmosphere of our new home. Ken and Marvin went out to cut a tree, Marilyn unpacked the Christmas decorations while I made a meal of soup and sandwiches. That last minute crooked little tree became a work of art as the children were given free rein to load every conceivable decoration upon its boughs.
Beds were set up and then we went down town for some last minute shopping, pyjamas, socks and mittens were basic to a few games which were so much fun to pick out as we vicariously shared in the thrills of their excitement. We gave them some money of their own to purchase gifts for each other and that was truly the gift worth giving. Ken and I kept smiling at each other knowing this was an opportunity for us to experience God's love in these two waifs.
We returned to the house and the children bathed and put on their new pyjama’s before the reading of the Christmas story. They perhaps most understood the biblical narrative of someone with no room in the inn, it was a holy moment before going off to a bed to sleep in a peaceful safe house. I came downstairs in the morning to find Marilyn sitting on the floor in front of a mirror propped against the wall. She was decked out in my jewelry and had a crocheted shawl over her head and shoulders. She was admiring her reflection obviously feeling like a little princess. She was unaware of my presence and I was overwhelmed by the picture of pure innocence as I observed a little Madonna right in my living room. Truly a Christmas to remember!