Christmas Comes Twice a Year at the Mansion!

BY STEPHEN JUDD, PRESIDENT Christmas comes twice a year at the Mansion, with good reason. We believe that the message of Christmas is the best answer we can offer to children who have known little else besides heartache, abuse and fear. We celebrate “Christmas in July” at the Mansion each year for another reason as well.IO8A5736 This long-standing tradition has been a real blessing to this ministry, as the summer months are the most difficult for us financially. But we still have mouths to feed and utility bills to pay, even if the income is not there. And these needs can’t wait until December, when folks are generally in more of a “giving spirit.” I’m sure you’ll agree that it is much easier to purchase a toy or an article of clothing at Christmastime. But our Mansion children have year-round needs. And that’s where your help is critical. Since coming to TCM 12 years ago, I have witnessed so many things. I will be honest enough to tell you that, in some ways, I was not prepared for the deplorable circumstances from which so many of our children are rescued. A few days ago, we were doing some remodeling in Hansford Hall, the oldest building on our campus, constructed 60 years ago. This is where children are welcomed when they first arrive at their new home. photo-1As we were tearing out some old walls, I began to think about the hundreds and even thousands of lives that have been impacted by this beloved institution through the years.
The thought occurred to me, if only these walls could talk, the stories that would be told would be unimaginable.
My mind went back to the time when four-year old Johnny and his older sister, Rebecca, entered through the doors of Hansford Hall and were received into our care. They were in horrible condition, suffering from neglect and malnutrition. The father was nowhere to be found and the mother had abandoned them. As I greeted them with a big hug, I immediately noticed that Johnny didn’t have any shoes on his feet. His toes were bandaged. Come to find out, the only pair of shoes he had was much too small and his sockless feet had been bleeding. I noticed that their little heads were badly infected with lice, like I have never seen before. After the prescribed treatment, the problem continued to exist. Johnny’s head was shaved, but the nits were embedded in his scalp. As for Rebecca, several of our staff ladies took shifts standing on their feet and meticulously combing the lice and the nits from her hair, all during their waking hours literally days, until finally she was free from this debacle. Several days after the children arrived, a church youth group came to the Mansion for a tour and to bring Easter gifts and some clothing for all of our residents. Among the items that were given to Johnny was a new pair of shoes. When these visiting young people were touring Parks Hall, little Johnny insisted that all of them come by his room. As they entered, he excitedly pointed to the bottom of his closet where he wanted everyone to see his new shoes. Although he had received several other nice gifts, including some toys, he was most appreciative of his new shoes. Yes, “if only these walls could talk,” many of the stories would be pitiful and etched with disappointment; however, most would be of successful outcomes and wonderful victories. Earlier today, we joyously witnessed the adoption of a young boy who has been in our care since he was just a few months old. How excited we are for him, as he is now joined with a loving family and is entering a new and even brighter future filled with so much hope! IO8A6235Will you pray about helping us with our Christmas in July campaign? It is vital that you send $15, $25, $50, $100, or even more if you can. You can give right now online by clicking on the following link... Without your help Tupelo Children’s Mansion will be unable to continue providing these special children with a loving home, a good education and a Christian environment where they can overcome their past hurts, and develop physically, emotionally and spiritually? A sacrificial gift of $35 or even $100 or $500 now could help us rescue another Johnny and Rebecca from their pain. So please respond right away with your Christmas in July gift. By giving to the Mansion, you are taking part in each child’s story. No matter how much you send, whether it’s $15 or $150, I guarantee your contribution is urgently needed to help defray our summer-time expenses and will be deeply appreciated. Thank you for believing in this great cause and standing with us as we trust the Lord to do great and mighty works together! Give to Christmas in July by clicking here...     I would love to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, & Instagram.