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Local Churches Help Family Celebrate Dream Holiday Season


A Tulsa couple with three children said a local church gifted their family a Christmas tree, gifts for their kids and nights in a hotel so they didn’t have to spend another cold night in their car.

The couple told News on 6 they have been trying to turn their lives around. Churches in Tulsa have stepped up in life-changing ways to support them.

“It was like if God himself was moving through people,” Richard Gomez said.

A tree covered in lights, a warm place to stay, three happy kids together with their mom and dad presents under the tree. This is a vision of Christmas the Gomez family wasn’t sure they would experience this year.

“This whole church is full of good people,” Richard Gomez said.

“I have never seen anything like it,” Joanna Gomez said. “Not even my real family does stuff like this.”

Richard and Joanna Gomez have struggled with drug and alcohol addictions for years.

“I went to prison when I was 16,” Richard Gomez said. “I have been on the street my whole life.”

The Gomez family were evicted from their apartment and have been in and out of homeless shelters. Then, local churches began helping out the family.

“We reach out and help people restore their lives,” God’s Shining Light Church pastor Dixie Pebworth said. “Coming out of drug addiction, alcoholism, homelessness, prison, domestic violence. That is what we really focus on.”

Richard and Joanna Gomez said their lives have completely changed.

“I want my kids to see me with a job,” Richard Gomez said.

“I don’t want to be a nobody anymore,” Joanna Gomez said. “I want to be a good mom. I want to be a good wife.”

Another local church gave the family a car back in November. A third church is helping them with food.

God’s Shining Light Church is helping them find housing and jobs.

The Gomez family had been sleeping in their car. When the church found out, members put them in a local hotel and made sure Santa knew where to find them.

“Put all the kids to sleep, and then, by the time they woke up, all the presents were under the tree,” Joanna Gomez said. “It was amazing.”

The Gomez family has a long way to go to get to where they want to be, but they said they know they aren’t alone in the process.

“Maybe we can come back to this neighborhood and maybe help some other people turn their life around,” Richard Gomez said.


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