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The brand new pastor and his wife
Newly assigned to his first pastorate
Arrived in suburban Brooklyn in early October
Excited about their opportunity to reopen a church
When they saw their church
It was very run down and needed much work
They set a goal to have everything done
In time to have their first service on Christmas Eve

They worked hard, repairing pews
Plastering walls, painting, and what-not
And on Dec 18 were ahead of schedule
And just about finished
On Dec 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm
Hit the area and lasted for two days

On the 21st, the pastor went to the church
His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked
Causing a large area of plaster
About 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall
Of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit beginning about head high
The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor
And not knowing what else to do
But postpone the Christmas Eve service headed home
On the way he noticed that a local business
was having a flea market type sale for charity
So he stopped in

One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored
Crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work
Fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center
It was just the right size
To cover up the hole in the front wall
He bought it and headed back to the church
By this time it had started to snow
An older woman running from the opposite direction
Was trying to catch the bus
She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church
For the next bus 45 minutes later

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor
While he got a ladder and hangers
To put the tablecloth up as a wall tapestry
The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked
And it covered up the entire problem area
Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle
Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked,
"Where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained
The woman asked him to check the lower right corner
To see if the initials, EBG
Were crocheted into it there
They were. These were the initials of the woman
And she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria

The woman could hardly believe it
As the pastor told how he had just gotten the tablecloth
The woman explained that before the war
She and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria
When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave
Her husband was going to follow her the next week
She was captured, sent to prison
And never saw her husband or her home again

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth
But she made the pastor keep it for the church
The pastor insisted on driving her home
Feeling that was the least he could do
She lived on the other side of Staten Island
And was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve!
The church was almost full
The music and the spirit were great
At the end of the service
The pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door
And many said that they would return
One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood
Continued to sit in one of the pews and stare
And the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving
The man asked him
Where he had gotten the tablecloth on the front wall
Because it was identical to one that his wife had made
Years ago when they lived in Austria before the war
And how could there be two tablecloths so much alike

He told the pastor how the Nazis came
How he forced his wife to flee for her safety
And he was supposed to follow her
But he was arrested and put in a prison
He never saw his wife or his home again
All the 35 years in between
The pastor asked him if the man would allow him
To take him for a little ride
They drove to Staten Island
To the same house where the pastor had taken
The woman three days earlier
He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs
To the woman's apartment, knocked on the door
And he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine

True Story - submitted by ~Pastor Rob Reid~
Who says God does not work in mysterious ways

I asked the Lord to bless you
As I prayed for you today
To guide you and protect you
As you go along your way

His love is always with you
His promises are true
And when we give Him all our cares
You know He will see us through

So when the road you're traveling on
Seems difficult at best
Just remember
I'm here praying
And God will do the rest

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