How Angel Tree Restores Broken Families
"They came on motorcycles," Miranda remembers of the day that friendly church volunteers brought Christmas gifts to her Texas home. "[My daughter] was confused and scared at first … She said, 'Mommy, will you hold my hand?' I said, 'Yeah, c'mon, let's go.'"
Miranda knows how hard life can be when your child’s daddy is behind bars. "It wasn't just him that went to prison. I kind of feel like we all did," she says.
But because of Angel Tree®, a program of Prison Fellowship®, Miranda also knows that God has not abandoned her family. She has seen His love in action. And she knows that His grace is enough.
Angel Tree serves incarcerated parents by providing a pathway for restoring and strengthening their relationships with their children and families. Prison Fellowship mobilizes local churches and community organizations to give hundreds of thousands of children a gift, the Gospel message, and a personal message of love on behalf of their incarcerated parent.
What could have been a mom's worst nightmare became one of the best Christmases ever for her little girl.
'I GOT PRESENTS FROM MY DADDY!'
When her dad went to prison, Miranda's daughter Trinity was crushed. She didn't really understand what had happened, but it was obvious she was heartbroken.
"She loves her daddy so much—it's crazy," Miranda explains. "She has this blanket from him that she's carried around for years."
"Her dad gave it to me for Christmas when we were together, and I gave it to her. She carries it everywhere. She sleeps with it every night."
And then, one Christmas, something wonderful happened. Miranda heard the unmistakable hum of motorcycles roaring up her driveway. Then there was a knock at the door.
When Miranda and Trinity opened it, they found quite the sight! A group of motorcyclists were standing there holding presents just for little Trinity. "These are from your dad," they told her. Her little eyes grew wide.
"It was a good Christmas. It really felt like her dad was there almost, even though he wasn't."
There are tears in Miranda's eyes as she says, "It's just an amazing feeling knowing that so many people who don't even know you care so much about your situation."
"When they delivered the gifts, I cried," she admits. But the best part of the volunteers' visit that Christmas was still to come.
SEEDS OF FAITH
Trinity loved the Barbie dolls, clothes, and boots she received. But she received another gift too—a children's Bible.
"I try to work with her on reading that," her mom said. A seed has been planted. And it's already blossoming. You could see it when Trinity visited her dad in prison recently. As she and her father reconnected, she suddenly exclaimed, "Let's all hold hands and pray."
What happened next was incredible.
"God, I know my daddy is not always there," Trinity prayed, "but I know his love is always there."
Now her dad was crying too. His little girl had broken through to him in a way that no one else could.
Today, this family that was once so broken by crime is being put back together. Trinity's daddy has trusted Christ and is working hard to change his life.