The Unexpected Gift
by Fonda Cox

It came as a unique request, “What are your needs?” Madrone Adventist School’s K-8 teacher, Amy Whitchurch, quietly wrote out a long and extensive list of all the things she needed for her school. The list was expansive as they were on a very tight budget and the needs were great. She assumed that items would be chosen off the list, so she kept on writing.

Then one December day the Madrone Adventist School got an invitation to come visit the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist School, 36 miles away. The Madrone students quietly and shyly filed in. The Grants Pass students quickly enveloped the visiting students with heart felt welcomes and “Hey, come here and look at all the presents.”

There before their eyes were mountains of gifts, 30 or 40 of them. All were wrapped individually. These weren’t your ordinary gifts of toys and clothes, these were the things listed on Madrone’s wish list of needs. The fact they were used didn’t even matter. Classroom chairs, a music stand, a hot glue gun and a complete set of encyclopedias. It was better than anything they could have dreamed of.

Afterwards the younger students joined together and played table games, while the older students had a rousing game of basketball together. What a treat for the Madrone students to get to play with a larger group.

With smiles still on their faces, the Madrone students and staff loaded the rest of the gifts into their cars, to be opened at their own Christmas party later that month. Squeals of delight were heard as they opened up presents containing things like copy paper, white and colored… enough to last them the rest of the school year.

Amy Whitchurch comments, “It was such a blessing to be reminded that we are all working together and not alone in this work for the Lord!” Thank you, Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist School, and principal Judy Clark, for showing all of us what it means to truly love our neighbor.