Far From Home Christmas by E.V. Sparrow
In 1975, I accepted Jesus Christ’s work on the cross for my salvation, and a few months later, my parents sold my childhood home. We moved into a new community for people over 55. Because of my parents’ ages, they allowed me in. The promise of the clubhouse pool helped sell me on the idea and get excited.
The day we unpacked the moving truck, a friendly neighbor approached from across the street, and introduced us to another neighbor, Bea. She had a son my age. As we stood in our driveway, Bea told us there were four teens now, and she was happy to meet me. She invited me to her church, the youth group, and was the first Christian woman I met. Bea discipled me before I’d heard what it was. She also has the gifts of mercy and evangelism. It’s always Christmas in her heart.
Bea is 100 years old now, and my “second Mom.” She and her family adopted me by welcoming me as a sister. Her two youngest sons were my close friends. One had the travel bug and urged me to come over to Israel and work on the kibbutz for the summer where he lived, then work for the winter in Germany. I did.
It was 1981, and I fulfilled my dream of overseas travel after listening to his stories of working seasonal jobs and traveling for several years. The thought of going to Bible story locations burned within my soul. Experience where Jesus lived and see where He died? Yes. Not only enjoy gorgeous posters of castles on my walls, but to go inside them? I must.
I purchased a one-way ticket to Israel, worked on the kibbutz for the summer, traveled, then flew to Germany to work for the winter. Visiting 14 countries gave me the experiences I wrote about in my short stories, and how God gave me the unexpected encounters with Him as I traveled.
I’d never been so far away from home until that 1981 Christmas and never dreamed of celebrating it in the magnificent setting of the German Alps. It remains my most fantastic memory of Christmas, and I wrote a short story about it for Grace Publishing’s Celebrating Christmas anthology. My hope is it will resonate with your heart.
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Author E.V. Sparrow ministered through short-term missions, worship team, prayer teams, and led small groups in Single’s and Divorce Care ministries. Sparrow’s stories surprise readers when they encounter God’s unexpected presence. She recently signed a contract for three books, with Celebrate Lit. Watch for her first release in December 2023. You can connect with her here: https://linktr.ee/ev.sparrow