It was the Christmas wish parishioners had been praying for - and on Tuesday it was granted.

Whoever stole Joseph, baby Jesus, Gasper and a donkey from a nativity scene at Faith Lutheran Church returned the items some time Monday night. Church members found them at the front door bright and early Tuesday morning.

"We are happy and thankful they were returned," said Pastor Tom Konz. "We prayed for the person who took them and our desire is that they know Jesus other than through a statue."

The items were stolen about two weeks ago, and a police report was filed.

Doug Hanna and his family donated the nativity to the church four years ago in memory of his in-laws - Gary and Pat Boggs. He noticed the pieces were missing one morning as he drove his son to school.

"I glanced over and they were gone," he said. "I always knew something like this could happen, but it never has."

Church member Javier Garza said the congregation would not ask any questions if the items were just returned.

And on Tuesday, the congregation celebrated a happy ending to what began as a sad Christmas tale.