If you could walk through the red doors of this church, you would see my church family. These people love me, my husband (the pastor) and our daughter. They also love our daughter in China, whom we have yet to meet or hold. When we started the adoption process, our church family was excited. Many were eager to share baby clothes and any equipment we might need. As the days dragged into years, they have cried with us as they realized that our wait was getting longer. They comforted us with their hugs when our referral was delayed. Our church family reminded us time and again that we were remembered in their prayers. They have told us they love us, no matter the size of our family. Recently, they demonstrated their love for our family in a huge way.
Knowing that we are getting closer to traveling to China, our church family wanted to show their love and support by sponsoring a church benefit to help cover our travel expenses. Thus was born the project “Nachos for Maria.” Our church members prepared and served a wonderful nacho bar for our church family and the surrounding community. In conjunction with the meal, a silent auction was held. The bakers got to work and prepared lots of goodie trays. Businesses generously offered some wonderful gifts. Crafters were busy crafting fun items, and others made fantastic theme baskets.
The afternoon was very exciting for Jerome, Joanna, and me; we were able to share our joy with others, who had been waiting alongside us for so many years. At the end of the day, the totals for the benefit were shared, and we were overwhelmed. After I had dried my tears several times, I jokingly told Joanna, “We won’t have to swim across the ocean to bring your sister home.” One of our church members said, “Isn’t it incredible what a bunch of small-town farmers can do?!” I replied, “I thank God for each and every one of our small town farmers.” These “small-town farmers” are my family and not just because they’ve done a benefit for us. They have shared our sorrows, grief, and tears while we waited to add another child to our family. They have prayed for our family and cared for us in ways they don’t even realize.
I am blessed to worship each Sunday with my church family. I confess the Christian faith in the Triune God with my family. I kneel at the Lord’s table to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ with these family members, young and old alike. I am eager to introduce our new daughter to her extended family – our church family at Trinity Lutheran Church. They have hearts that overflow with love for one another, and I am blessed to love each one of them right back.