We have had a holly-jolly month here at Lubbock Impact, kicked off by Santa himself at our Community Meal on December 1st. There were lots of smiles, candy canes, and pictures, followed by Santa’s prayer that we would all remember the Reason for the Season.
The holidays can be a bittersweet time for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones and memories of Christmases past. We know this to be true, as we have spent much of the month sitting with those who needed extra time to talk and process their heartache. One man visiting said he hadn’t had a conversation with anyone in months.
Another gentleman, who had recently suffered a stroke, stopped by the office in need of a meal. He had been working up until the stroke, but had since lost his place to live and his mother, who passed away, all within a span of three weeks. It would have been easy for us to hand him a sack of food and send him on his way, however, that is not what we do at Lubbock Impact. A conversation and a cup of coffee later, we were helping him come up with a plan.
Once a bed was secured for him at Grace Campus, he got in his truck, only to discover that it would not start. That led to getting him on a bus to Grace Campus. Before he left, we prayed that the Lord would bring him hope, peace, and provision to meet his immediate needs. About an hour after he left, a church called to ask if we knew of any children needing Christmas gifts. I told them that those needs had been met, but shared about the man who needed help with his truck, and the church quickly jumped on helping provide for this need. Now he is able to focus on healing and getting back to work to provide for himself, which is his personal goal.
On December 11th, The Eye Clinic was held and 10 patients were seen. We were blessed with a new eye doctor, Dr. Alberto Camacho, who volunteered his Saturday to serve our patients – several of whom were diagnosed with eye diseases that the patients were unaware of because they could not afford an eye exam. The joy of the day was an older woman who received the glasses she desperately needed. As soon as she put her glasses on, she flashed the biggest smile and said, “I can see clearly for the first time in years!”
Multiple dental patients have recently come in who have needed to have their teeth removed for cancer treatments or surgeries. Without dental insurance, they were not going to be able to have these lifesaving medical procedures. The hearts of gratitude that are reflected in the dental clinic are overwhelming. We are extremely blessed by the dentists and assistants that come each week to volunteer their time.
Christmas is such a joyful time at Lubbock Impact because Wanda and I get the chance to be the hands and feet of the many blessings our community pours out to the Lubbock Impact family. We have received many jackets, food, hygiene, and warmth items that will be distributed in December, as well as into the new year.
As I close out this last newsletter for 2021, I want to share the sweetest blessing of all. The Christmas nativity.
Our much-anticipated Christmas meal and pageant were the sweetest way for us to close out 2021. Hope and joy are the words that describe the night. The Christmas dinner of ham and wonderful sides was delicious. The dining hall was filled with celebration as we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and shared a birthday cake. Dinner closed with everyone thanking David and Sue Dean for their ministry as the cooks. They have had to step down due to health issues and we are now in need of volunteers who would be interested in helping facilitate the meals.
The evening continued in celebration of Jesus as the children’s program presented a live nativity. They were all so proud to wear costumes and reenact the story of His birth. And, yes, there were a few forgotten lines, a giggle or two, and plenty of adoration from the audience. There is something about seeing the scriptures in Luke acted out that stirs the reality of the faithfulness of Joseph and Mary to do what seemed impossible and experience the blessings of trusting God fully.
The ladies who attend Unpack Ministries provided a very real illustration of why God chose Jesus to humbly be born and show us what redemption looks like. The ladies did a cardboard testimony where they wrote on cardboard what their life was before Christ and then flipped their signs to reveal how redemption through Christ has changed them.
Some went from addicts to addiction-free; hopeless to hopeful; abused and feeling unseen to being found/belonging! There were tears not only in the participants’ eyes but also across the sanctuary. The redemptive power of Jesus is an overwhelming gift. Pastor Gilbert Herrera closed the evening with a message of hope. Throughout the pageant, Noelia and Glenna sang beautiful songs of Christmas. Next year, I hope you will join us!
As 2021 closes, I can do nothing but continuously praise God for His indescribable gift of Jesus that has sustained and allowed the doors of Lubbock Impact to remain open to all who need His healing touch. May the Lord bless you and make His face shine upon you as we welcome 2022!
We want to highlight Dr. Robert Ioppolo, DDS, who helped us reach our $25,000 Giving Tuesday goal with a very generous gift of $10,000! And to every single one of you who gave toward our goal, we share our deepest gratitude!
1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.
2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.
10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.
11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.