When Amy Rickel messaged the wrong person on Facebook to ask a question, she had no idea that she would slowly instigate a “Christmas miracle.”
An accidental Facebook message started it all!
Rickel had recently relocated to Green Bay, Wisconsin, allowing her three children to be closer to their father, but she soon found herself unemployed and homeless. Then her car broke down.
She and her three children were staying in a hotel when she ran out of options. In desperation, she messaged a friend for a Bible quote she hoped to use in a prayer request.
“Hi Brian, wondering if you know a good Bible verse for someone to pray when in deep fear, weak, scared, and personal despair/lost/breaking?” Amy Rickel wrote on Facebook, intending for the message to go to her friend Brian.
But she had unintentionally sent it to someone else.
She quickly followed up with, “Wrong person, I am so sorry.”
Then he responded.
The stranger had been another Brian…a Brian Van Boxtel. While she immediately apologized when she realized she sent the wrong message, Van Boxtel instead messaged her the correct passage. It was Psalm 56:3 and John 14:27.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset, do not be afraid.”
Van Boxtel’s kindness for strangers didn’t stop there—when he learned of her situation he offered to pay for her family’s hotel room that night, and encouraged her to make her story public.
Rickel then created a GoFundMe page, and her story took off. Many were moved by her story—she ended up raising $1,500 in less than two weeks and received further aid and made new friends of total strangers.
“I’m pretty amazed. I still kind of find it unbelievable,” added Rickel.
“It has totally restored my faith in more than just humanity, my faith in God.”
Van Boxtel would prove to be only one of her guardian angels this Christmas season, with other strangers coming to help.
Another, Chad Morack, helped her find work a few weeks later as a nurse.
Yet another, Kathy Schumann, cleared out a room in her home for the family of four to use, and allowed her the use of her minivan.
“She really tugged at our heart strings and we just felt like this holiday season we couldn’t let the kids be out in the cold,” said Schumann.
It is stories like this that really make you believe in miracles.