A Church that Made a Difference

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." The opening line from one of my favorite novels came to mind almost daily. In April of 2006, I was preparing for motherhood. Pregnancy brought a strange mix of emotions, moods, and hormones. I was thrilled to be a first-time mom, but my heart ached thinking of all the times I was missing with my mom and sister. All communication, even the big announcement that we were expecting, was done through phone calls, and those had to be short and sweet. I began to feel a little sorry for myself as I selected crib bedding online at an internet cafe downtown; it just wasn't the same as going shopping with mom. We were supposed to be doing this together. I was missing out.

The Lord's goodness to me during such a hard time soon became very real. I didn't deserve it; I was self-centered and weak. Countless women go through pregnancy without their mothers. I knew when we surrendered to go to the mission field that we would live very far from home. I should have handled it in stride. I should have been tougher. But my Heavenly Father patiently and lovingly reached out to me in my cloud of gloom in a very unexpected way.

Robbie and I stopped by the post office one afternoon to pick up our mail. I was surprised to see three large, mysterious boxes with our names on them. We had not been expecting anything, let alone such large packages. We excitedly loaded them into the truck, eager to get home and open them.

We set the packages in the living room floor and examined them. The return address read "Lighthouse Baptist Church." This church, located about an hour and a half from my hometown, had taken us on for support during deputation. One of the boxes was marked, "Open first," so Robbie carefully cut the packing tape and lifted the lid.

Sitting on a layer of tissue paper on top was a VHS tape. The spine read, "Robbie and Christine's baby shower." I looked at Robbie questioningly and popped the tape into the VCR.

The recording began in what appeared to be the fellowship hall of the Lighthouse Baptist Church, decorated with pastel balloons and tiny paper cutouts of baby clothes strung from a clothesline. A banner read, "Congratulations, Robbie and Christine!" Then, my heart lept as I saw my mom and sister appear on camera and sit in the front, in the seats of honor. They were wearing corsages and beaming proudly. A lady from the church welcomed everyone and explained that this was a "Ghost Baby Shower." Since Robbie and I could not be there, they had somehow gotten in contact with my mom and sister (whom they had never met) and invited them to come open presents on our behalf. Tears streamed down my face as they opened present after present, oohing and aahing over each item. I found the corresponding baby gifts, along with the banner and decorations in the carefully packed boxes. I was overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness, ashamed of my self-pity, and encouraged in spirit.

Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.... But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received...the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God." (Philippians 4:15-18)

The Lord had used some precious ladies to encourage a young, pregnant missionary wife. The baby gifts were much needed and appreciated. But even more importantly, they had found a way to connect me to my family and share a special moment with them. They had ministered to my soul.
3 Responses
  1. Alisa Says:

    What a wonderful story, Christine. It brought tears to my eyes. I struggle too not being able to see my mom as much as I would like. My situation doesn't compare to yours because my mom is 4.5 hours away, but I understand the longing that you feel for your mom.

    Love your blog. Check ours out : www.3mccormicks.blogspot.com


  2. Kathy Says:

    Well, once again I'm glad I opted not to wear mascara today! I never knew about this ghost shower but what a beautiful, thoughtful way to reach you across the miles. And kudos to your mama and Kathleen for keeping the secret!

    God is so personal in His touch through His people. Many do that for my Katy and Kimberly too in our absence. What a blessing to be part of THAT family as well as ours!

    Love you,
    Aunt Kathy

  3. Gwen Says:

    Kathleen and I were talking about that shower just the other day. It was so exciting! We could feel the warmth and love from those ladies. It was a special time that we'll never forget.

    I love you,

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