Congratulations to Laura Kirsten, our first place winner of our LittWorld 2022 Writing Contest #1: “Stronger Together. Tell the story of something you have seen or experienced in which Christians became stronger together.” Upon learning of the award, Laura wrote, “I am so grateful and very excited to have won this writing contest. It is such a privilege to be given the opportunity to showcase our writing skills. Many thanks for all that you do for all the writers globally.”
We want to thank each of our distinguished contest judges–editors Owen Salter of Australia, Sir Buma Kor Dickson of Cameroon, and Svetlana Karoleva of Bulgaria–for doing such a skilled and careful evaluation of the contest entries. In the past, we have found that participation in a writing contests often sparks a more serious commitment to writing ministry, and we pray that will be the case again this time for many participants.
That Christmas in 2010
by Laura Kirsten
Mavis called Lauren to her office. Cardboard boxes lined the walls, overflowing with children’s gifts.
“Pull up a chair. I need your help.” Mavis looked particularly stressed that day.
“How can I help you?” Lauren asked.
“We have been asked to arrange another Christmas party for 500 children in a rural area 450 kilometres away. We have sufficient gifts for them, as you can see, but we need to supply them with everything else that we usually do at our parties. This will be the last party that we organize for 2010. Because it falls in our holiday season, transport will be a problem. You need to run with this for me, Lauren…. We need a miracle to make this happen. We only have a week.”
Lauren knew that 2010 had been a difficult year for Mavis, as she trusted for supplies for all the children’s homes and underprivileged children that she supported annually.
“We have prayed and fasted about these parties, Mavis. God won’t let us down.” Lauren got up and put her arm around her manager.
Back at her desk, Lauren knew exactly who to call.
“Hi Lauren….gosh, this is a lovely surprise. What’s new on your side?” Mia’s happy voice put Lauren at ease.
“I’m very well thanks, Mia. Remember how you always said that I can count on you if I’m in a pickle? Today is one of those days. You know that where I work we arrange Christmas parties for underprivileged children. We desperately need help this year with hot dogs, cupcakes, crisps, and sweets for 500 children in Venda, kilometers away from here. Oh and…um…we need to transport all the food and gifts to the children next weekend. I know it’s a tall ask, but I need a miracle!”
Lauren prayed silently as she waited for Mia’s response.
“But of course, we’ll help you. I will contact my Bible study group immediately and we’ll get going. Should we make up packs with all the goodies inside? This should make it easier to transport.”
“That would be perfect, Mia. God bless you abundantly for your love and kindness.”
“I’m not so sure about the transport, but I’ll see what I can do. We’ll chat again soon.” Mia ended the call.
The following Sunday, Lauren and Mavis waited on the sidewalk with the boxes of wrapped gifts. Mavis wrung her hands as she glanced up the road.
“Relax, Mavis. My friends won’t let us down and neither will God.” She gently held Mavis’s hands to calm her.
The sound of car horns caught the women’s attention.
“This must be them now.” Lauren clapped her hands and craned her neck to see the approaching vehicles.
A large closed truck stopped at the curb, followed by a 20-seater bus transporting ten volunteers.
“We’re here…packets and all,” Mia announced joyfully.
“Oh Mia, how can I ever thank you enough?” Lauren said, hugging her.
“These two vehicles are the real miracles, Lauren. God came through for us this morning after numerous failed negotiations. A rental company gave us these vehicles with full tanks of fuel and no rental charges at all. Isn’t God awesome? The manager at the branch is also a Christian, and he made this happen for us.”
“Praise God for people like you.”
“Lauren, we also plan on helping you with your parties every year from now on. We want to show God’s love and provision together, with you, to those who really need it.”
“God surely does supply all our needs as He promises in Philippians 4:19,” Lauren smiled.
Laura Kirsten of South Africa has completed 2 ghostwriting projects and 50 short stories. She will publish these stories in a book of South African tales soon. The desire to write lay buried in her soul for years. It took God’s grace to move her from being afraid to write, to loving writing.