by Elaine Shigemoto

Last year I read an inspiring, motivating book entitled “Love, Skip, Jump” by Shelene Bryan.  Bryan’s testimony of providing aid to the under privileged was the impetus of a journey of responding “Yes” to Jesus. At the end of the year, my family experienced the opportunity to connect with a family in the Don Julian community and bestowing gifts, meals, and sharing the joy of God’s amazing love on Christmas day.

LOVE     Loving God Loving Others...Make a Difference. Sound familiar?  God’s directive: Love God and Love People.

SKIP       We know that God’s extravagant love is demonstrated in John 3:16. Love gives: “that He gave…” Can I skip the comfort celebrating Christmas at home, or hosting the traditional family gathering? I was challenged with this thought: For _______so loved _______that he/she gave_________. For the Shigemotos so loved sharing with others that they gave up family time on Christmas day to bring joy to a family in need.

JUMP     It was time for me to trust the Lord and jump into action by stepping outside the box. God has blessed us abundantly, so why not share what belongs to Him. We were offering to bring a meal and gifts on Christmas day to a family that was less fortunate, specifically in our church’s neighborhood. By connecting with Pastor Victor and subsequent contacts, we were matched with a family that was open to our offer. I was so thrilled that my prayers were answered. With only 5 days before Christmas, my wonderful friends from the WELL and branch groups generously donated wrapped presents and gift cards to add to our collection. With excited anticipation our visit with the family was beyond our expectations. Despite my inability to speak Spanish with the mother, I was still able to communicate with her as moms do. The 4 children appreciated all the gifts and we enjoyed becoming acquainted with our new friends. Gifting without expectation was truly a joy and blessing.

First step is obedience: say Yes. Love others, Skip (sacrifice), Jump into action. Trust that He will empower us each step of the way. My family eagerly anticipates more opportunities to Love, Skip, Jump!