(The Bratchers—Chaniya, Chyloh, Melissa, Joel (baby), Johnathan, and Chyna. Contributed photo.)
Editor’s note: Chyna Delk-Bratcher has contributed several stories about people in the community. This week, she tells a little of her own story.
A family that prays together stays together: my family and I live this through and through.
Prior to moving to Raeford from Aurora, Colorado in 2014, we had some great Christmases but we have also had some hard seasons together during the holidays.
In 2011, my family and I were homeless for a year, living in a small motel room— a family of five and our Rottweiler .
My father lost his job and had to take another job with lower pay. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and made sure we had a safe and stable household to come home to.
My parents did all they could to make sure my brother and I were still able to attend the high quality schools we attended prior to losing our home.
My father would drive across town in the Colorado snow to drop us off at school—on time—every morning.
That year, Christmas wasn’t the same financially for my parents, and we all knew gifts would not be plentiful, yet God still provided angels to ensure we had something to open up that morning. My school’s teachers and staff provided gifts for my entire family that year, making a Christmas miracle possible.
Even though we stood around that two-foot Christmas tree that sat on the counter in our motel room, we were grateful to have one another. We didn’t have a home to call our own, but we had love that filled the entire room.
Our story doesn’t look like most, but it’s a story that brought us to where we are today. That hardship made us stronger together. It made us pray more, laugh more and find joy in the little things in life. It helped us develop faith, love and passion to pay it forward to others.
Today, my father pastors Mt. Calvary COGFBJC in Raeford, and we are all very active in the community. Just this year we became first-time homeowners!
Even through the hardest times, joy can be found in the pocket of a memory or the care of a loved one.
This has been a tough year for us all, but where there is life, there is hope.
On behalf of my family, we would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year.