Lost On Christmas Eve

  I wanted to share this story of a Christmas our family experienced many years ago....one we will never forget!

It was Christmas Eve, and we were spending the evening with my parents, as we did every year. I come from a large family, and our four children could always count on meeting up with some cousins at Grandma and Grandpa’s house; especially during the Christmas season. By the time we arrived, a small crowd had already gathered.

Luke 15:24

 Our kids were happy to see their cousins, but their excitement grew when they saw that some of them had brought snowmobiles; a favourite winter activity on the Manitoba prairies. My parents’ farm was located near a provincial park with miles of snowmobile trails, equipped with a few cabins along the way. It was an ideal location for winter activities. 

 Although our kids were dressed for family pictures, not the outdoors, they were soon outside joining in the fun with everyone else, while we whiled away the hours visiting around the kitchen table. With only three snowmobiles, everyone had to take turns, so now and then the kids would be in the house waiting for someone to come and pick them up. 

The one photo we managed to get while the kids were snowmobiling.
 I'm not sure we ever got a family picture done that year! 

  Late in the evening, when everyone came in for a break, our thirteen year old daughter, Dana, and her cousin, Kevin, weren’t with them. We soon realized that no one had seen them for quite some time. My brother and brother-in-law headed back out to look for them. They knew that Kevin had been having some problems with his machine, and expected to find them off the trail, stuck in the snow. When they returned without them we became concerned. The men had travelled two miles to the first warming cabin with no sign of them anywhere along the trail.

  Soon, my husband was making phone calls. By midnight, we not only had the police and park patrol at the farm, we also had fifteen men on snowmobiles who had left their families on Christmas Eve to assist in the search. The response was overwhelming and we are forever grateful to all who came to help! 

 It was a beautiful moonlit night, and I remember standing outside wearing little slip on shoes and no coat, talking to a police officer. Knowing that Dana was wearing a skirt with only thin splash pants over top, I was thankful for the unusually mild December weather.

  As the hours passed, I thought of all the scenarios of what might have happened; none of them were good. Hearing stories of people who had run into barbed wire fences while snowmobiling certainly didn't help! All I could do was wait and pray. Sometime during those long hours, I came to the point of surrendering Dana to the Lord. I couldn’t understand why he might choose to take her home, but I had to prepare my heart for that possibility. Dana was our oldest child. She was intelligent and mature beyond her years, sensitive and caring. Above all, she loved her Lord and Saviour and had made her commitment to Him sure just a few months earlier. I had no doubt that if she didn’t come back to me, I would one day see her again in heaven. It was 3:30 a.m. when the door opened….and Dana walked in. All I could do was hold her and sob. My daughter had been lost and was now found; I’d received her safe and sound!

Luke 15:24a, 27b For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found
….. he hath received him safe and sound.

Cabin 3, at the top of the map is the one closest to the farm. They were found at Cabin 2.

 Much later, Dana recounted her side of that long night….. They had gone to the first cabin, but when Kevin started to head back to the farm he made a wrong turn. By the time they realized their mistake, there was no place to turn around. Kevin knew that if he left the packed trail his heavy machine would be stuck in the deep snow. Their only choice was to go on to the next cabin, several miles down the trail. Once there, they were able to start a fire in the stove and stay warm. But as they waited in the dark cabin, with only the light of the moon shining through a small window, Kevin was frantic. He tried to convince Dana that even though they were low on fuel, they should try to find their way back to the farm. Dana, on the other hand, had peace, knowing that if they waited patiently, they would soon be home safe. She knew that they couldn’t get home on their own, and was sure that eventually, someone would come for them. 

  As the eve of Jesus coming draws near, we who have put our faith and trust in Him have that same assurance. We know that there is only one way home and we wait patiently for our Saviour to come and bring us there safe and sound.

1 comment:

  1. I can only imagine what a scary night that was! I’m so glad that it had a happy ending!


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