Dr. Anna Rich of Desert Bloom Ministries, Arizona contributed this beautiful TRUE story of Christmas
Dr. Anna Rich is the Pastor of Desert Bloom Ministries, a small church in Fort Mojave, AZ. Her son and husband run Rich Industries, an aircraft/racing parts distributing company.
Anna was about 5 years old and living in Holland at the end of the second world war, when she was rescued by American soldiers.
was later in an orphanage there that she was visited the first time by
angels who aided the children in their long nights of terror.
Her story is fascinating and has been told in several books that
are being created and distributed now around the world.
is her true story of loss and love at Christmas.
Immediately after is an account of what Pastor Anna and her
congregation are doing now, (in red letters), taken from an email to me
|Christmas morning 1978, 6:30 a.m. All
was quiet in the house, no one was stirring.... "Go away, I don't
want Christmas, go away...."! But sleep would not return and with
full force the pain of the loss of my beautiful daughter flooded over
me. During the summer vacation she was in a fatal accident at the age of
ten years old, the joy of her family. Please Christmas morning, go away!
It did not!
As I was stumbling out of bed and entering our kitchen, my eyes fell on the newspaper article I had written and for which I had won the beautiful bouquet of roses which I took to Danah's grave Christmas eve.
Is this how my life is going to be? Roses for the grave? Stories about how God helps those who are mourning? Did I really feel that myself? Did suffering give me strength and make me love God more or make me love Him regardless? These were the question racing through my mind.
The house was cold. My husband had announced the night before: "Don't wake me up. I don't want anything and I don't want to participate in anything, leave me be, please!" It was his way of dealing with his loss.
My oldest son was invited to spend Christmas day
at the house of some dear friends of ours and our other son had moved to
the Redwoods to :Get away from it all!
She was the baby in the family, oh, it was a
wonderful Christmas and all of our holidays were wonderful. Reading the
Christmas story from the book of Luke, Mom usually directing the
Christmas play at church, the great meals and the friends dropping by.
"I don't know how I can take it" a
woman's voice said. "My little boy was on his bicycle and was hit
by a car and last week he died and we had to bury him......" and a
loud crying started and more sobs. "O, God, what can I do, say?
Help me, please", and I felt a big lump in my throat and my tears
were gushing from my eyes. She kept crying, I kept swallowing and wiping
off my tears. "You don't understand", she said between sobs,
"how can God allow this, how can I go on living? It's Christmas, my
son belongs to be here!".
Bloom is a small rural church. This
Christmas season we brought in candy and magazines and goodies and
toiletries and we prepared 70 boxes for the soldiers in Iraq.
Ind. and Ussco our partner in the aircraft parts industry paid for the
$400 dollar shipping bill. (That
was an unexpected expense!) I
was so very proud of our people.
month we send money to India to “Voice of Gospel”.
$30 dollars per month for their orphanages and $30 to Rhema/Haiti/Bocozelle
(restoring hope through education and medical assistance is what this
R.H.E.M.A . stands for) and we send $30 to a minister who travels
through the poor countries in the former eastern block, a mighty saint
of God and a wonderful teacher of the Word of the Lord.
just lost his wife this year but is preaching the word just the same.
I personally know these ministries of Haiti and the Eastern block
minister and have had much interaction with the people from India.
new adventure where I wrote the story: "The Boy Under the Bed"
is to donate the completely finished and illustrated story to this
organization that takes care of the elderly holocaust survivors by
giving them monthly food baskets. I
remain the owner of all the rights because the story belongs to myself
and my family, but they can use it and raise money for their
organization. It is lovely
to be a giver.
future plan is to have a ranch where foster children can come and learn
about God, of course, and about horticulture and drama and music.
We are praying someone will donate us some acreage and then we
sell our building (church
building) and build on the acreage.
We have faith it will happen.
also finished writing (and the illustrations are finished also) a story
about a little girl who lived in the Netherlands during WW2. These are
very interesting stories. Part
of that money will go to the children of fallen soldiers. I am looking for a publisher who is willing to donate most of
the monies after the cost of printing.
the mean time I am setting up our own publishing company.
We already have the domain names for the web.
I'm excited about 2007.
last year we raised the money to have a little girl's cleft palate and
distorted face fixed. She
lives in India.
time to time we have made baskets with little goodie bags for the
elderly in the care homes.
are trying to walk the walk, not pretending nor bragging or full of
ourselves, it is a way of life I guess.
gave 6 stories to Rev. USAF Col. Jeffrey Oleary who, with his wife
Cindy, started 4 orphanages (so far) in India.
The book he wrote was "Brave Hearts under Red Skies" by
Cooks publishing, and it sold almost 100,000 copies.
Some people came to our church to have me autograph the books; it
was fun. He asked me to
please let him use the stories. His
proceeds went to the orphanages. I
met him in person too.
is 28 years since I lost my daughter in that horrible accident and 12
years since Mark went to be with the Lord. In those years I also lost my mom and dad.
Attended Bible College for 7 years and then still kept up my
nursing license. I took
continuing education classes ever since then and also studied the Bible
I think another four years to get my masters and most of my
doctorate I did long distance - years of going back and forth,
wrote my thesis on Aids prevention and Education.
How to reach a whole city. Well,
this city did not adopt it, but now maybe they will since Aids is NOT
under control and people still get it every day.
re-studying about tuberculosis as that old enemy is rearing its ugly
head again. I think I could
start a school for general higher education on many subjects; it is just
that there is not the help available.
will work on publishing the String of Pearls Bible studies in 2007 also.
I am also raising money for a story about "the Boy Under The
Bed". It is to raise money for the elderly holocaust
survivors and almost all the money came in within two weeks.
[The sales of this book] will
help in supporting the India missions and the bocozeller maternity
they got there, almost half of the babies and mothers died in
childbirth. They deliver
about 100 babies a month and have not lost one mother nor one baby in
the last five years since they are there.
So very amazing. They
see 200 patients a day and they are the only hospital in a 500 mile
radius!!! I have known
these people from day one; that makes it extra special.
day I will go there and help in the clinic for a few weeks and also go
to the schools and play guitar and tell stories about Jesus.
Email Pastor Anna