December 22, 2012

Love in a Shoebox

A number of years our family has participated in Operation Christmas Child by preparing one or several shoeboxes and praying for those kids who would be receiving them somewhere in the world.  It was such a fun thing to go to the store and pick out gifts that we thought a boy or girl would like within a certain age range.  Watching the promotional presentations of what kinds of kids receive them always brought joy to our hearts and a tear or two to at least one person’s eyes.  There’s nothing like giving to someone who receives so very little, all in the name of Jesus. 

 Then we were accepted to be a part of the Post-Residency Program, through Samaritan’s Purse, and at orientation, got to walk through the HUGE storehouse/packing center for over a million shoeboxes.  That was a thrill to say the least.  We were so proud to be serving under the organization which runs this powerful ministry.  It became a dream to get to see OCC at work wherever we ended up serving.

 Finally, this year, we were able to get 100 shoeboxes (after a year of working with the OCC team here in Zimbabwe, and hitting wall after wall with shoeboxes being held at the port, and customs, etc.) out to Karanda!  Today we were so fortunate to be on the other side of the shoebox, handing them out to the kids in the PEDS Ward at the hospital! 

Our whole family trooped down to the hospital to gather the shoeboxes and stuffed animals for the babies.  Christopher called all the patients together to share the true reason for Christmas.  He talked of Christ coming as a baby.  He continued that Jesus ultimately gave us the greatest gift of his life so we can be forgiven of our sins and be with Him in Heaven one day if we accept this gift and ask Him to be our Savior.  We prayed and then shared that people in the United States had prepared and given these shoeboxes because they wanted to share God’s love with each one of these kids in the hospital.  It is a way to say, "Happy Birthday," to Jesus.  Then we handed out the boxes.  Most kids had no idea what this shoebox was all about, but as they opened them with their mothers or caregivers, huge smiles broke out and a wave of excitment went through the ward. 


 Thank you to all those who participate in OCC.  We wish that you could be the ones to hand out your boxes and see the joy your love brings.  We feel very honored to be your hands.  May you receive some blessing by looking at the faces of these kids who’s hearts were touched this day in Jesus name.