Toy Story: Spirit and Truth Ministries, Randy and Donna Denton
I didn’t write this. Donna is my… second cousin? Something like that. Our dads are cousins if I remember the family tree correctly. But I may not. She may be my dads cousin. Regardless, my point is that I know this story is true, because I know her.
What a testament to the true meaning of Christmas. I left their request for funds for this year’s toy drive at the bottom, but know that this isn’t meant to be a high powered pitch of any kind. Just something to make us think.
The following is a true story. May the spirit of giving burn bright in your heart as you read:
He had a face like any other 8-year old boy. There was nothing special about his features that would make you remember him. But what he did… well, that makes him one little guy we’ll never forget.
It was Christmas Eve. Hundreds of small faces peered through the fence at the array of toys spread out before them. Clutching their ticket as if it were gold, they patiently awaited their turn. One by one they filed down the row of tables, their bright eyes wide with excitement. So many choices, only one toy. “Which one do I choose?” The steady banter of “¡Rápido! ¡Rápido!” from the church staff kept the little ones moving along.
It was our annual Christmas toy distribution. Church groups from across the U.S. had worked all year collecting the toys to give to these underprivileged kids in Mexico. For most of them, it would be the only toy they would receive all year. Church workers had been sent into the poorest of the poor neighborhoods to pass out tickets, and now the big day had arrived. During the distribution Donna’s job was to stand at the tables and make sure that each child had only one toy. I was working in crowd control. There were only so many toys to go around. There were still hundreds of children outside the fence. We wanted to be sure to have enough.
She saw him coming. His oversized coat was torn; the floppy slacks he was wearing carried the trademark of numerous hand-me-downs. His matted hair and dirty face signaled the poverty this little boy had become accustomed to. He carried a truck in one hand and a baby doll in the other. Donna turned him around, gently reminding him that there was a limit of only one toy per child and that he had to choose a toy for a boy. Within moments he was trying to pass her again. This time the truck was in plain view, but the doll was discreetly tucked under his arm. You really had to hand it to this guy for having persistence! Donna was undaunted. She knelt down before him, and looking into those big, brown eyes, she calmly explained that each child was allowed only one toy, and that he had to return the doll to the table. Sadly, the little boy turned away and headed back to the vast display…..
This time the little guy was gone longer than usual. Donna was busy checking other children coming through on their way out. And there he stood before her again. This time the truck was gone. In his hands was the little baby doll he had been carrying all the while. It’s blond hair and fair skin shined in stark contrast to the dark, dirty hands that now cradled it. Looking from the doll up into the now-resigned eyes of the little boy, Donna knew there was more explaining she had to do. “Boys are supposed to take boy-toys,” she told him patiently. “Baby dolls are for little girls. You can get the truck but you have to leave the doll on the table.” The little boy didn’t budge. Instead, he looked Donna in the eyes and spoke for the first time. His shy, quiet words landed with a resounding thud on her heart. “Señora, I was the only one in my family who got a ticket. My little sister didn’t get one.” He continued in a faltering voice, committed to the decision he had obviously thought out. “I would rather do without the truck if I can take the doll and give it to her.”
Need I say more? This little guy, untrained, unlearned in Christian principles, preached literally volumes of sermons to us through his one sincere act of unconditional love. Just to think, he was willing to sacrifice perhaps the only toy he would get all year long to make sure his little sister received one. I believe he made Jesus very happy on His birthday.
What would YOU be willing to sacrifice this Christmas so others less fortunate might receive? Consider your blessings and then think about a small brown-eyed boy sacrificing something he wanted so badly so he could get a doll for his little sister.
What about the truck, you might ask? Oh, believe me, he got it. After a heart-wrenching display of love such as that, how could you possibly deny him? After Donna regained her composure, she sent him back to pick up that which he had strived so hard to get. She made that little guy one happy fellow as he bounded out the gate with the truck in one hand and the doll still clutched in the other, running to his family to show them what he had received. As for us? Well, we were left to contemplate our own degree of love, wondering what we would have done had we been in his same dirty, ragged shoes…..
Again this year, many lives will be touched in Mexico by the toy drive and you can be a part! (See below.) There is a great in-gathering of people into our churches during the holiday season. Entire families have been saved and join the church following the toy distributions. Many of them come to the church out of curiosity, wanting to find out who gave their children nice toys when they couldn’t afford to give to them. Those are the kinds of testimonies that make it worth it all!
In closing, Donna and I would like to thank you for doing your part in helping us win the lost. We wish you and yours the happiest of holiday season. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and give you peace during this most joyous occasion! _______________________________________
If you would like make a donation to help us in this year’s toy drive, please send your check to:
Spirit and Truth Ministries
Randy and Donna Denton
PO Box 2635
Mission, TX 78573-0044