This miracle happened just a week after my second Christmas miracle. In mid-December of 2010, we were working with an older white couple named the Rasmussen’s* (name has been changed) in Albany that were facing financial hardships. We learned they were being evicted out of their home shortly before Christmas and were hoping to find someplace to stay in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Rasmussen’s were doing their best to stay positive, which was hard because on top of their eviction, Brother Rasmussen had medical issues. Brother Rasmussen had a limp wherever he walked and couldn’t stand for long. As Christmas approached, word got around in the church congregation we were working in of the Rasmussen’s dilemma. One Sunday after church, an older couple approached me. Both of them had big smiles. I wish I could remember the dear couple’s name.
The husband smiled at me and told me, “We heard of the couple you’ve been working with and we’ve been thinking of them a lot recently.”
Reaching into his suit pocket, the husband took an envelope out. He handed it to me.
“We want to make a donation to help your friends out but we’d prefer for it to remain anonymous. Will you both promise not to tell them who the check came from?”
Alex Maughan, my missionary companion, and I, both agreed. When we got home to our apartment in Leesburg we checked the envelope and both gasped. The check was no small donation. It was nearly one thousand dollars. We were both blown away by how this couple could give such a check to the Rasmussens who they’d never met. Albany had been hit hard by the recession and a majority of people were just trying to get by.
We thought of how we should give the Rasmussens the check. We both felt presenting the check to them would be awkward and there would be a good chance they’d refuse it. I thought of past Christmases I had had with my family where we’d doorbell ditch gift baskets at homes of acquaintances we knew who were struggling. I came up with the idea to leave the check on the doorstep after quickly doorbell ditching the Rasmussen’s. We decided nighttime would be best to achieve total surprise.
It was quite the operation. We parked the car two blocks away at night when it was pitch black. The neighborhood the Rasmussens lived in Albany was a forested area. After scouting the area, we found a group of trees we could hide behind across the street so if they came out searching for us we could run through the forest back to our car on the next block.
We both quietly approached their front porch and set the envelope off to the right on a cabinet they’d left outside in preparation for their move. Their porch was already strewn with furniture. The only light on in the house was the front study where we knew Brother Rasmussen often spent time reading or working on the computer. We rang the doorbell and took off running. We got behind two trees when Brother Rasmussen opened the door and yelled, “WHAT? WHO IS THIS?” He then closed the door.
We came back to the porch and this time set the check on the front step in front of the door. We rang the doorbell and returned to our hiding spots. Again, Brother Rasmussen opened the door, yelled, and closed the door. I remember saying, “You’ve got to be kidding me. We can’t just leave that check on the front porch like that.”
It wasn’t what we preferred but we decided to call Brother Rasmussen and guide him to the check on the first step of his door. I don’t remember too much of the initial phone call but I do remember the moment when Brother Rasmussen found the check.
“Oh my word!” exclaimed Brother Rasmussen, “How did you? How?” He wasn’t able to speak and before long was sobbing into the phone.
I told Alex, who was standing next to me, “He found the check.”
When Brother Rasmussen regained control of himself he asked, “Who is this check from?”
I replied, “They were members from our congregation who heard about what happened and they’d prefer to remain anonymous.”
“God bless you all!” said Brother Rasmussen.
As Alex and I walked back to the car we couldn’t stop smiling. Alex put his arm around me and said, “We definitely helped make a difference tonight.”
That was the last we heard of the Rasmussens. I can’t help but wonder how the Rasmussens are today. I know, without a doubt, their lives were blessed from the anonymous check. The Rasmussens had Alex and I deliver a thank you note to this older couple in our congregation shortly before their eviction.
Christmas is truly a special day full of miracles, especially that of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. There have been many Christmastime miracles I have seen in my own life that I hope to share again one day in the future. I feel the true spirit of Christmas is the one of celebrating the life of our Savior Jesus Christ and how his life was all about giving. The best Christmases I’ve seen in my life are those spent helping change someone’s life or having my own life changed in a small way. Don’t forget what Christmas is about. It is to celebrate the greatest gift of all which God gave to us–His Son. Happy holidays everyone!