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Pastries for India's Jews

[Fred Craddock tells a story] about a missionary to China. His name was Oswald Golter, and he served in China in the 1940’s. He was an agricultural missionary and taught people how to raise crops. When the Communists came, they forced him to leave. So his supporters in America wired him a ticket, and told him to make his way to India to catch a ship home. When he arrived in India, he discovered many Jews were there in dismal poverty. They landed in India because India was one of the few countries in the world that welcomed the Jews after Hitler expelled them from Europe.

Dr. Golter was glad to see them. It was Christmas time and he said, “Merry Christmas!" They said, “But we are Jews.”

“Oh, I know, but Merry Christmas anyway. What would you like for Christmas?” They said, “But we are Jews.”

He said, “Oh, I know. But is there anything you wish you could have for Christmas?” They thought about it and said, “We wish we could taste again some fine German pastries.”

Dr. Golter went all over that city in India and found a shop that sold fine German pastries. He cashed in his ticket home and bought boxes and boxes of pastries. Then he delivered them to the barns and the attics and the sheds where those Jewish people were living and said, “Merry Christmas!” Then he wrote home and said, “Send me another ticket.”

Years later, he told that story to a group of preachers. One of them stood up, his fists clenched, and said, “Why did you do that? Those people aren’t Christians. They don’t believe in Jesus Christ!" Dr. Golter said, "But I do!"

- William G. Carter, It’s For Other People, sermon on Luke 2:8-20; First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania; Christmas Eve, December 24, 2010