As the steel doors slammed shut and a stone-faced officer led her husband away, Rocio hurt as only a wife and a mother can.
“We had never been separated, and I was a stay-at-home mom,” she recalls. “I was suddenly left alone and looking for work.”
“At the time, our three kids were young. I told them that their dad had a new job as a cook at the prison,” Rocio says.
That was true, but it was little comfort.
Bobby and Vivian, the two youngest, ached for their daddy to tuck them into bed. For Vianca, the oldest, there was the terrible burden of shame. Rocio felt it too. It was like she and her children were the ones doing time.
She had just two things going for her: a church that cared and the Angel Tree program.
A Broken Heart Cries Out
As Christmas got closer, the pressure mounted. The children had never had a Christmas without their father.
Now they might not have Christmas at all. Rocio had no money to buy presents. Most days, it was all she could do to put food on table.
From a broken heart, she cried out to God. What happened next was a genuine Christmas miracle.
Rocio remembers it like it was yesterday. “One day there was a knock on our door,” she says. When she answered, a volunteer from a local church told her that he had been sent on behalf of her husband and Angel Tree. “He told me he had gifts for our kids from their daddy,” Rocio recalls.
‘God Is Real’
“He shared the Gospel with us,” Rocio explains. “I cannot express the joy and love that I felt knowing that there are people out there being used by God Almighty to bless the little ones.”
And years after their first Angel Tree Christmas, God is still working in the lives of Rocio, her children, and her husband.
By God’s grace, their father was released after serving just 18 months of a five-year sentence. And today, the reunited Ramirez family is growing strong in the Christian faith.
“We are a living testimony that God is real,” Rocio says.
How You Can Help
Please pray for the Ramirez family. They want to be used to share God’s love with others. Will you ask Him to use them for His glory?
To learn how you and your church can participate in Angel Tree this Christmas season, please visit www.angeltree.org.