Christmas on a Mission - Our Stories

How it all began- Monica Hartland


I was 5 and my Father told my siblings and me that this year would be a lean Christmas; we didn't have much money and at the age of 5 this made me very sad!

I gathered a few toys of my own and wrapped them for my siblings. I told no-one, but God knew.  When Christmas came my Uncle from far away sent me a piece of luggage filled to the brim with wrapped gifts...I was elated!  

Fast forward to 2009 - we were nearing the holidays and I thought, what could I do to give back the many blessings I'd been given?  That's when the women and children at The Mission of Yahweh came to my heart.  I decided I would ask them all to write down what they would LOVE to have for Christmas.  Things that were requested were tennis shoes, strollers, perfume, bathrobes...and Of course, the children asked for toys, teddy bears and games.  I jumped into action!  First, I bought all the requested items, asked my Uncle to be Santa Clause and gathered a few volunteers to help me on Christmas morning.  10 volunteers helped me that year. 

WE ALL EXPERIENCED THE MOST MAGICAL CHRISTMAS!!!   We were given the opportunity to see the joy in the eyes of the women and children and the tears of gratitude that filled those eyes.

For me, it was a life-changing experience. 

I love Christmas at the Mission, I know you will also.


Monica Hartland

Gabriel Mount and Julie Pitts


I’ve been visiting the Mission of Yahweh since I could barely walk. But when I was 6 years old I experienced my first Christmas on a Mission. As a young child, I loved getting to hang out with the other resident kids and families Christmas morning and watch them open their gifts and play.

 My mom started teaching me at an early age about the joy of giving. The next year though I told my mom and the other leaders that we needed to bring snow to the Mission since most of the kids and moms have never seen snow. So in 2010, we brought a Winter Wonderland to the Mission and keep doing it every year since, no matter if there is rain, sleet, or heat - there will be snow! 

Now I’m in high school and I get my friends involved along with their families in different ways. It’s a great way to celebrate the holidays and Christmas morning with the Mission residents. Be blessed and consider getting involved this year on the 10 year anniversary of Christmas on a Mission! What’s your story going to be?

The Reid Family


The Reid Family would not consider it Christmas without Christmas on a Mission! We made this a tradition 6 years ago and it is a joy and blessing to be a part of it! We are blessed not just to give back but also to learn their stories and share the love of Christ with them. Some years are especially memorable and we are so grateful to the mission for those memories. 

Thank you to all who work so hard to make such a special Christmas memory for these women and children! 

Samantha Kennedy & Family


Our family loves to spend Christmas morning at the Mission of Yahweh.  Each year our girls get more excited about giving to other children and of course the  wonderful Christmas celebration.  

Zuanich and Barrett Families


This will be our third year to participate in Christmas on a Mission at the Mission of Yahweh, what our family calls a “day of wonder”. 

We have helped at the wrapping parties for several years before that, but nothing can prepare you for the joy and love that we experienced our first Christmas morning at the Mission. There is no better way to start your Christmas Day and our kids and siblings look forward to it every year in their own unique way. 

We are so grateful to be able to participate in an event that is filled with so much love and joy while bringing together the families and friends of both the residents and the volunteers. Come join us this year? What’s your story going to be?

Warner Roberts


If you want to have a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience, please attend "Christmas on a Mission" at The Mission of Yahweh on Christmas morning. 

The joy in the faces of the children is thrilling, reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas. I promise this will be a Christmas morning that you will never forget.

Mission Founder, Sister Helen Gay

A message of Hope

Helen Gay lived in a neighborhood filled with broken families, hungry children and poverty was abound.  

It was her vision from God that started her on a mission to feed the hungry, and house those who needed a place to lay their head.  

In 1961 she quit her job as a hair dresser and answered God's calling.  She started feeding the children in the neighborhood, then started taking them in to stay and before you know it, she had even adopted 24 of those children.  

Churches reached out to help her and in 1971 a board of directors was formed and by 1972 a corporate charter granted by the State of Texas.  

What started with one little shot gun house in a run down neighborhood, now has become a 12 building campus, that not only houses over 400 women each year, serves over 4000 meals per month - but also feeds over 500 families in the community twice a year as well. 

Sister Gay passed away in 2008, however her legacy lives on.  The Mission can now house over 120 women and children and we hope to have another dormatory added in the near future.  

"If they're hungry, I'll feed them"  - Sister Helen Gay 

About the Mission

Mission of Yahweh 2018, produced by Lisa Moscarelli, Moscarelli Media

Work Integration Now (W.I.N Program)

Some awesome ladies that benefited from Workforce Integration Now Program at The Mission of Yahweh

Sherrita's Story

Sherrita came to the Mission because of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.  She talks about pride, loss,  and spiritual and emotional growth.  

How Sarah's Garden Grows

An interview with faithful Mission Volunteer, Sarah Hartland

Sarah is the founder of Sarah's Organic Garden at the MIssion


1. How did you learn about The Mission of Yahweh?

My family has been involved with the mission for several years, but my sister, Monica Hartland Blaisdell, is who introduced us all to The Mission.

2. How long have you been involved with The Mission?

I have been involved since 2010 and started the vegetable garden in the Spring of 2012.

3. What led you to start an organic vegetable garden?

I was talking with Monica about what donations The Mission needed. She responded that they get plenty of nonperishable food donations but they have trouble getting good, fresh vegetables. We wanted to find a way not only to provide organic veggies and herbs but also promote a healthy lifestyle and environment. Hence, the vegetable garden was born!

4. What is the size of the garden?

The garden is about 850 square feet of vegetable growth. We also have eight large planters where we grow various herbs and spices.

5. Where did you learn how to garden?
I started learning by taking some basic garden classes with Urban Harvest. Also, I attended the monthly meeting held by Houston Urban Gardeners. Both great organizations!

I often stop by Wabash Feed Store and ask the expert gardeners there for advice or ask for a solution to whatever garden dilemma I am having. They are always so nice and super helpful!
The Houston Garden Book by Bob Randall is an in depth book about gardening specific to Houston. I found that helpful as well.

6. Where is your go to place for supplies and advice?
Without a doubt it’s Wabash Feed Store for both supplies and advice.

7. What are you planting for this spring/summer season?

We planted cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, squash, spinach, tomatoes, jalapeños, basil, mint, and rosemary. Yum!

8. What is your personal favorite summer vegetable/herb?

I really like cucumbers, tomatoes and basil. They are light and refreshing, perfect for those hot, Houston summers.

9.  How does it make you feel watching the garden grow and produce more each year?

I honestly am so amazed that so much food can come from one tiny little seed.  I feel blessed that I get to witness this amazing miracle every time I visit the garden.

10. What has been the reaction from the residents and the children?

Initially, the majority of the women and children were not especially knowledgeable about vegetable gardens, so it took a little while for them to open up to this unfamiliar concept. But now everybody is excited and enthusiastic about learning and helping out with it! It’s especially wonderful to watch the children’s initial curiosity about the plants, and then watch how their faces light up as they see the progress of the seeds growing into plants and then the plants producing vegetables.

11. What do the residents and children enjoy the most about the garden vegetables?