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Home Aloners for the Holidays
By Efraim Espinoza
As we enjoyed Christmas week with our three married children and their families at our home, we recalled that the parents of our son-in-law and 2 daughters-in-law would not have the grandkids until New Years weekend.
During our time together, Melody, one of my daughters-in-law, told about her parents and their Christmas celebration the previous week.
Melody’s parents, Robert and Sonya Johnson, pastor Ozark Mountain Assembly of God in Kimberling City, Missouri. Realizing that none of their three grown children were going to be with them on Christmas Day, Robert announced an open invitation for Christmas Day dinner for all “Home Aloners” in the church.
During the Sunday service before Christmas, he invited singles, couples, or small family groups to join him and Sonya for a dutch treat Christmas dinner at a local restaurant. They expected a few to join them. They were surprised when 23 people came.
Pastor Johnson said this idea met a need in his congregation. Nearly 25 percent of the Sunday a.m. attendance came to this special time.
Efraim Espinoza is director, Office of Hispanic Relations for The General Council of the Assemblies of God, Springfield, Missouri.