The following is from my sweet wife, Erin.
Its a very LOVE WINS Christmas!
I've come to the point when I know that something amazing is going to happen when Jaymie and I go into the clubs. Usually before we leave our house, Donnie and I start bickering about something stupid. That is my clue that something awesome is going to happen. I think that there is a possibility that we get irritated, annoyed, and grumpy with each other right before we have a "God moment". It happens when we pray before bed, too.
When we got to End Zone, our bouncer friends welcomed us, opening the door for Jaymie carrying the big box of treats. As soon as we saw our friend, who is always serving behind the bar, she smiled. We set the treats down and one of the girls that we've been chatting with lately came right over to see what we had brought. I chatted with her awhile and she was very gracious and thanked us for the treats. She also wished us a Merry Christmas. Jaymie was talking with another friend about some tough things that are going on. And she wanted to know where our church was and if we could get together to talk some time. She seems to trust Jaymie. Jaymie made sure she knew that she wouldn't be alone if she decided to come. We wished everyone a Merry Christmas before leaving.
As soon as we walked into Bonita Flats, everyone greeted us and I saw Guido over in his normal spot adding up some money in a stocking. We went to the dressing room and set down the box of treats and talked with some girls for a couple of minutes. Then I walked back out and and a couple of ladies had brought in clothes to donate to someone in need. So as Jaymie helped them load stuff into her car, I stood and talked with Guido who had something to give to me... Well, not TO me, I guess to give THROUGH me... He sat there while I watched and counted out the gifts given by all of our friends at Bonita's... It was three times the amount they gave to help people in need last year. THREE times! I stood there shocked. I couldn't think of anything to say except that they were amazing! Guido said, "Your program works. You come in here every month and you don't preach at us and it works." I just shook my head in amazement and said, "We do it to show the love of Jesus." And he said, "You are." Guido himself bought a gift card to a grocery store that is enough to feed a big family a wonderful Christmas dinner. One of the ladies got another gift card to help with toiletries and other necessities from Walmart. And then there were the ladies that cleaned out all of their closets to donate clothes that their children had outgrown. And if I add up all of the cash that came from a bunch of others, it blows me away to think of how much of Jesus' love will be shown because of the generosity of my friends.
So, if you know of someone who has a need, please come find me and let me know. Let's spread the love of Jesus around. LOVE WINS!