Sunday, April 26, 2009

One Box

I spent this morning at Asbury United Methodist Church in Waterford, PA where Lejla Allison was invited to speak.  Lejla received a shoe box as an 11-year-old girl in Bosnia in 1993 and came to know the Lord through that box.  

She was asked to speak here and made the drive with her husband and two children from their home four hours away.  She was only given 10 minutes to speak in each morning service and 45 minutes to speak during Sunday school.  I was amazed at her attitude after traveling all that way to speak so briefly--she told those in attendance that if their hearts were open to God they could hear from Him in only a minute and if they weren't she could speak to them for hours and it wouldn't make a difference.

Though I've heard Lejla's amazing testimony before, I was struck anew by something she said today.  She wasn't saved by 8 million boxes; she was saved by ONE box--by one box that one person took the time to pack and pray over.  

Even though Lejla traveled a long way and didn't get to speak to many people today nor for very long, she spoke tremendous encouragement to me.  

I am renewing my efforts to pack more boxes.  Because EVERY box is THE box for one more child.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Sometimes it's hard to know what to do with all God's blessings.  I've been praying for stuffed animals and got 96 more on the yard sale circuit this morning.   When I got home at noon I loaded the 8 cartons of shoe boxes I picked up on Wednesday into the back of the van.  Then I went to visit my mother (and out to lunch with her and my sister) and finally stopped to unload the van at Wesley Church.  

I was so proud of myself for getting my van and most of my house cleared out and getting everything stored in the church storage area.

When I got home there was a message from DSW Shoe Warehouse that they had more boxes for me.  No time to pick them up then as I was headed to Grace Church for the 5:30 service.   After a fantastic time of worship with a clear presentation of God's truth I made the shoe box run and picked up 7 more garbage bags full of boxes.  

The blessings never stop.  Sometimes I'm amazed when I ponder the fact that each of these boxes that I haul and fill will end up in the hands of a child somewhere far away.  God, thank You for the privilege of being able to serve with Operation Christmas Child.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stuffed Again

So last Sunday I went to Target when they opened at 8:00 and I was the only one there just shoving those 90% off stuffed animals into my cart--79 of them to be exact.  Then on Tuesday when I got over to church to pack more boxes I found that someone else had dropped off donations of stuffed toys.  In one weekend God provided several hundred great lovable stuffed animals--what an answer to prayer!

On Tuesday evening I packed another 61 boxes to bring the total to 1,745.  I packed boxes for 2-4 year old girls and left out the crayons in order to conserve them.  Boy, when crayons go on sale in June I'm going to be buying thousands of boxes.  I can't wait.

Last night we had our Operation Christmas Child area team meeting here at my house.  It was such a joy to meet with friends who share my passion for OCC.  We watched together the 'death crawl' scene from the movie "Facing The Giants" and talked about how we want to do our VERY BEST every day for God in this project of OCC.  I ponder a lot about what my 'very best' would look like.  How far would you help me go for You, God, if I were really and truly 'all in' for You?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Getting Stuffed

So I've been praying for stuffed animals.  I like to put a stuffed animal in every box I pack for Operation Christmas Child so the child who receives it will have something to love.  

My prayers were answered this weekend.  Between three rummage sales, two Walgreens with 75% off on Easter toys, 50% off at the Goodwill and some extra donations, I amassed several hundred stuffed toys over the past two days.  

Tomorrow I'm going to hit Target to see if their Easter stuff's at 90% off so I can get some more because you can never have too many stuffies.

Now I'll keep praying for crayons so the packing will continue without a hitch.  Heather Rogers, my OCC Church Relations Coordinator, and I packed 84 more boxes on Friday evening.  

Total now at 1,684.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lucky April 13th

Hey, spring vacation's over and I got to go back to school today.  No crises developed and it was a good day.

Yesterday on my last day off I packed another 79 shoe boxes to bring the total up to 1,600.   Down to my last 350 boxes of crayons, though, so I need to keep praying for more. 

Also used up all but a dozen stuffed animals--back on the hunt for those, too.

Can't wait to see how God provides.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Long Time No Post

Okay, so it's April already and tomorrow is Easter.  I meant to blog during the past two months.  I really did.

From February 9-13 I was in the Dominican Republic where I was privileged to be able to help distribute Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoe boxes to children in poor rural areas.  I helped with six distributions--two per day--and found them amazing, chaotic, crazy, joy-filled and overwhelming.  

Now I'm back to the ongoing task of packing boxes.  God has been answering prayer to supply items for the boxes and I spent all but one day of my past week off from school working to pack more.  We're up to a total of 1,521 now.  We ran out of stuffed toys, and I'm praying for more.

Today at a flea market I got 62 new stuffed bunnies for under 30 cents each.  Also today's paper printed a small article asking for donations of stuffed animals and small toys.  I'm eager to see if that brings us more toys.

Meanwhile I'm putting candy into bags for the boxes, gathering and wrapping empty boxes to fill (got 216 just in this past week) and putting together paint kits.  

Oh, yeah, did I mention I used coupons to get 412 tubes of toothpaste for free this week?  

Never bored.