I'd like to introduce you to Cindy Burris. I love this girl! I first met her at Living Water. I knew that she went to Grace Fellowship and was attending Frank Phillips College at the time and soon learned that she had a liver problem and was on a liver transplant list. I liked her...a lot! But that's about all I really knew about her. And boy! Was she growing spiritually. The glory of the Lord was all over this girl. After watching her life the past couple of years, I asked her a few months ago to give her testimony at Living Water. You could have knocked me over with a feather!! I had NO IDEA of her past until then....and never would have guessed it. Not suprisingly, several people were saved that day.
So...when I was praying and thinking of who to ask to come speak to a group of mostly women at our Christmas Toy Give-Away today at Living Water, Cindy came to my mind. So I asked her to come and she did. She did a great job---you can see a video excerpt of her testimony below.
But back up. She came in last week and told me she wanted to buy a toy for one of the kids. Now we had 145 kids registered for Christmas gifts, so she got to choose from any of them. We were talking the whole time she was looking, but she said, "I'll just look through these. Usually the Holy Spirit will just show me which one to choose." And then she came to the name of a little one-year-0ld girl and she said, "This is the one." So she took the name and bought several gifts for that baby.
Today. Today was our big Christmas Toy Give-Away. Andy & Ember sang a song that they're going to sing in our church this Sunday. Then Cindy spoke. She didn't speak long, but she shared her story and her heart. And four people prayed to receive Christ. After the service, we called numbers and people got their toys and began giftwrapping them. Cindy stayed around and helped people giftwrap. As things were winding down, she was talking to a young mom who told Cindy she liked what she'd had to say. Then she told Cindy that she'd grown up in church, but had gotten into trouble---and ended up in prison. As she talked, Cindy noticed the gifts that the young woman was wrapping. She looked at this young woman and said, "I've been praying for you and your daughter all week. I'm the one who purchased these toys for your daughter." I do believe that God led Cindy to that name that day. What a miracle for God to put two lives who walked such similar paths together at Christmas time.
Another miracle is what God is doing in Cindy's life. Cindy lost everything at one time. She lost her family, her relationships with her children and grandchildren. She lost a son and a grandson. She lost her dad this past year. She's lost her health. She lost all of her earthly goods. And she has an income of only $600 a month, she told us today. But God has restored so much. He's restored her relationship with her family (which is why she's so excited in the video about her granddaughter calling her). He's restored her health somewhat---she keeps getting good reports! She's finishing her counseling degree at WTAMU and hopes to help children dream again. And God has restored her finances. Even though she only makes $600/month, she gives and gives. Her house is fully decorated for Christmas and there are gifts under the tree for everyone she loves. God has blessed her and restored her. I love Christmas miracles!