An encouraging letter emailed from Waslala, Nicaragua– from Pablo Yoder–not TO us, but passed along to us. On Christmas Day, Pablo’s daughter, Jessica, newly widowed, with 3 young daughters, and a little one on the way, experienced a Christmas Light shining into their home. She knows not who it was– but it brought Christmas cheer, and gives testimony to Jesus and the hope He brings.
Daryl had penned the words to “A Christmas Light” after mulling over the happenings around a 1996 tragedy, which took the life of a 40 year old father. The song was recorded by the Garment of Praise in “The Wondrous Gift is Given” .
To all the hurting at Christmas, may we as Christians be a true light for Jesus, and an encouragement to hang on to hope.
Following is the email newsletter– penned by Brother Pablo.
A Special Christmas Gift
Dawn had just awakened Waslala and a pale luminosity was filtering into the dark room. The young widow sat on the couch in her living room, reading her Bible. The three little girls were sleeping in their upstairs nook, cuddled under the covers to keep the winter chill at bay. And the last addition to the family, that wasn’t quite here yet, was nestled deep in his mama’s being. As the lady read, she wondered what the Waslala Christmas day would hold. It was then that she heard distinct footsteps right outside her front door.
Wondering, she laid her Bible aside and quickly stepped over to the window. Pulling back the curtain she saw Omar Montenegro walking away from the house and down the lane briskly. Hum, I wonder what he wanted. He must have decided to not disturb me since it’s so early and will stop by later.
Though Omar was once a criminal who dealt with cocaine in LA, Jessica would never even have thought of doubting him for stopping by at that hour. His faithful Christian testimony since his conversion six years earlier had erased all doubts from her heart. But what he would have wanted that early in the morning was a mystery that needed to be solved.
Later, after the sun burst over the horizon and the morning woke up the whole way, Jessica laid her Bible aside and opened the front door to let the morning and the sunlight flood into her house. Right in front of the door was a big gift, wrapped up grandly.
Then Jessica knew what Omar had been there for. She quickly bent over the gift and read the tag: “Merry Christmas! Ha! Ha! (In Spanish)”
Shaking her head questioningly, Jessica hauled the basket to the table and decided to wait to open it until her children woke up.
Later the fatherless family opened the gift. The little girls cheered and exclaimed as they pulled out a lovely pair of sandals for each one; a perfect fit! A darling purse for each of them. A pillow. Bottles shaped like ice-cream cones that were actually bubble blowers. And more…
“Mama,” Tisha squealed, “look, here is a pair of shoes for the baby that isn’t born yet.”
As the children rejoiced with their gifts, the widow noticed a frame with some words on it. She pulled it out and read the words slowly. It was song she had known ever since she was a child.
The room is dim, she’s feeling sad…
Christmas ain’t the same when you don’t have a Dad.
Mama said, “Daddy went home to be with Jesus.”
Just as a tear makes its way to the floor…
She turns as she hears a knock on the door.
Nobody is there, just a gift wrapped up for Christmas.
She opens the box, takes a look inside,
And with the smile on her face and a glow in her eyes
She reads the note from the one who brightened up her Christmas.
I just want to be a Christmas light
Shining like the star on the very first night;
Telling everybody I meet: “Love is HERE!”
I don’t want to be just a burned-out bulb,
I’m gonna shine for the One and ALL.
I want to be a Christmas light this year.
Jessica had always been moved by this sad story. But now, for the first time in her life, she thought about it that the first verse of the song told her story too.
Then Jessica saw a CD, lying among the gifts. Leaving the children to their delights, she quickly took the CD to her computer and listened to the song as sung by Garment of Praise. Then she found a chair and sat down, and wept.
Later Jessica and her daughters dropped by here on their way to the Millers where they planned to spend Christmas day. The little girls were very excited, telling us all about the special gifts each one had received. Especially about the brown and white baby shoes. But what blessed me most was how the mother’s moist eyes glistened as she told us their precious Christmas story. I could see that that gift had meant more to her then words could ever tell.
Later I asked Omar about the gift. He confessed, “I was just the courier. She was not supposed to see me. But I feel so blessed to at least be the messenger for this special Christmas gift. It’s such a beautiful thing!”
Then Omar’s tears started flowing almost as fast as mine were.
God bless you, mysterious donors. Jessica doesn’t need to know who you are. Because she and all of us know that God is really the author of every good and perfect gift !
I also want to be a Christmas light this year!
Daryl, Renita, and family entered Altar of Praise studio and recorded a song for the first time! We hope it will make it onto a new CD coming out in the future.
Daryl penned “When He Works that Way”. God doesn’t always work in miraculous ways, or always how we’d like, but isn’t it fun when He does?!
“I love it when He works that way!”
Now this is what you’d call a really, truly “behind the scenes” post! You wouldn’t normally see these guys behaving like this on the stage or in church, but what’s in the heart usually comes out sometime or other!
… and look at the next generation following in their fathers’ footsteps!
… and some more pictures of our families enjoying the day…
Daryl Petersheim family welcomed its newest member on Thursday, October 21, 2010. Darien Chase weighed in at 7 lbs 12 oz and 22 inches long. They are thanking God for a healthy boy and a timely delivery. All the family is enjoying him, and Renita and baby Darien are doing well. He joins siblings Whitney (10), Guy (8), Chrissy (5), and Jacob (4).
The secret is unleashed–who the true slackers are on the bus!
Thanks to our children who are our biggest fans (usually). They get tired of the trips sometimes, but have a fun time with friends they meet and with each other. They also “help” along the way with some setup, and always help us to be anxious to get home!
The Petersheim family enjoyed trying their hand at recording in their own “studio”. Daryl has a small recorder that he uses for some of his songs he’s written. He sings the melody, then adds additional parts with his own voice; this helps Garment of Praise in learning one of his new songs.
Daryl, Renita, and children decided to lay down a track of them singing their “family” songs that they’ve sung at a few programs. When “God makes a yot of a yitto” (instead of a “lot of a little”), you’ve got to preserve that!
Please pray for Caitlin and Molly (Jason’s) as they mourn the loss of their mother. She passed away January 18th.
Brian and Jason’s oldest sister, Diane, went peacefully on to her eternal home Wednesday afternoon, November 4, 2009.
Please continue to remember the family in your prayers. Funeral and viewing arrangements are as follows:
- Saturday, Nov. 7 from 5-8 pm at East District Mennonite Church
- Sunday, Nov. 8 from 2-6 pm at Martindale Mennonite Church
Monday, Nov. 9 at 2:00 pm at
Revival Tabernacle Church
960 Susquehanna Trail
Watsontown, PA 17777
(East District Area)
Burial will be at East District that evening