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Historic Christmas Story

LoyalWarrior
Dec 27, 2013, 10:49 PM 1

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned 
to their first ministry, to reopen a church 
in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October 
excited about their opportunities. When they saw 
their church, it was very run down and needed 
much work. They set a goal to have everything 
done in time to have their first service 
on Christmas Eve.

 

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls,
painting, etc, and on December 18
 
were ahead of schedule and just about finished. 

O
n December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving 
rainstorm - hit the area and lasted for two days.
 

O
n the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.
His heart sank when he saw that the roof had
leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 
20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall 

of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

 


T
he pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, 
and not knowing what else to do but postpone
 
the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
 
On the way he noticed that a local business was
 
having a flea market type sale for charity, so he
 
stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful,
 
handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth
 
with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross
 
embroidered right in the center. It was just
 
the right size to cover the hole in the front
 
wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

 

 

 

By this time it had started to snow. An older 
woman running from the opposite direction was 
trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor 
invited her to wait in the warm church for 
the next bus 45 minutes later.

 


She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor 
while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put 
up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor 
could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and 
it covered up the entire problem area.

 

Then he noticed the woman walking 

down the center aisle. 

Her face was like a sheet. 

"Pastor,"she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" 
The pastor explained. 

The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials 'EBG' were crocheted into it there. 

They were. These were the initials of the woman, and 

she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria .

 

The woman could hardly believe it as 

the pastor  told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". 

The  woman explained that before the war 

she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria

 

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. 
Her husband was going to follow her the next week. 
He was captured, sent to prison and 

she never saw her husband or her home again.

 

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;
but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home. 

That was the least he could do. 

She lived on the other side of Staten Island and 

was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

 

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. 

The church was almost full. 

The music and the spirit were great. 

At the end of the service, 

the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door 
and many said that they would return.

 

One older man, 

whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, 

continued to sit in one of the  pews and stare, and 

the pastor wondered why he  wasn't leaving.

 

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth 

on the front wall because it was identical 

to one that his wife had made years ago 

when they lived in Austria before the war 

and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

 

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, 

how he  forced his wife to flee for her safety 

and he was  supposed to follow her, 

but he was arrested and put in a prison. 

He never saw his wife or his home again 

in all the 35 years between.

 

The pastor asked him if 

he would allow him to take him for a little ride. 

They drove to Staten Island and 

to the same house where the pastor 
had taken the woman three days earlier.

 

He helped the man climb the three flights of
stairs to the woman's apartment, 

knocked on the door and 

he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

 

T rue story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid 
who says God does work in mysterious ways.
I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for
 
you today, to guide you and protect you as you go 
along your way. His love is always with you. His
 
promises are true, and when we give Him all our 
cares we know He will see us through.

 

So when the road you're traveling 

seems difficult at best, 

just remember I'm here praying and God will do the rest. 

Pass this on to those you want God to bless 

and remember to send it back to 

the one who asked God to bless you first.

 

When there is nothing left but God, that is when
you find out that God is all you need. 

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