“Your community…truly showed Christ’s love to my family”

An unexpected letter

On September 12, this letter of deep gratitude landed in the parish e-mail inbox. It speaks to a time of personal and international crisis, of love, support, and the kindness of strangers.

Hello There!

Sixteen years ago during the 9/11 crisis, my family and I entered into our own personal crisis that took us unexpectedly to Toronto. We had just received news that our then 5 month old daughter needed a life saving heart transplant and the only place performing these surgeries at the time was at Sick Kids in Toronto. Needless-to-say, our own personal world was torn apart in the midst of such devastating circumstances world wide. Not only were we in a precarious situation with our daughter’s health, but we had to leave our home, friends, family and church family within days of the events of 9/11.

Because our daughter’s health did not allow us to be out in the general public much, we had a very difficult time finding community. On one desperate Sunday, we stumbled into the doors of Holy Trinity and it was like a breath of fresh air with the people of God holding us up at a very desperate time in our lives. I remember the presence of the Spirit in your church; I remember the kindness of strangers in your church; I remember the prayers of the people in that church as we formed a circle in the sanctuary. I simply remember the people of God holding my daughter, my family up in prayer.

While I wish I remembered some of the names of the beautiful people who cared for us, sadly I do not – except for Joy Kogawa, who I was a little star struck by at the time! It will be 16 years next month that my daughter received her life saving heart transplant and during this time I often think of those who shared this journey with us and am so thankful for those who have been a part of our lives, it even for a short time. So, it is with gratitude that I send a heart full of thanks to the people of your community who truly showed Christ’s love to my family and I at a very significant time in our lives. Thank you so much for teaching me in real, tangible ways, what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ. I truly hope to visit again some day.


Carmen C.