Alexis is seven years old and she loves Operation Christmas Child. She's the grandchild of our pastor, Al Detter, and his wife Marie and last year she worked like a trooper to bag candy for our gift-filled boxes. She was also an enthusiastic volunteer at our huge shoebox packing party and, with her grandmother, she carefully chose the items to fill six boxes of her own.
Touched by the needs of children around the world last year, Alexis wanted to do more to help but "I don't have any money," she said. Then her grandmother suggested that she could save money for the next year. Alexis decided that whatever money she received during the year would go into a special piggy bank to be saved for Operation Christmas Child.
A week or so ago Alexis broke into her piggy bank and they counted her money. Amazed by all her wealth she exclaimed, "I have twenty-eight dollars!" This was a huge sum for Alexis but she was determined to give it all away. With her grandmother she was off to Wal-Mart where she strategically purchased Crayola crayons and spiral bound notebooks on sale to put into shoeboxes.
These may seem like simple gifts, but they will be treasures for the children who receive them. In Uganda, for example, a box of crayons costs the equivalent of $5.00 American--about the same as a weekly wage. Families have to provide their own school supplies for their children to attend school and must often make the hard choice between feeding their families and buying those supplies so they can get an education. Receiving crayons in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox frees up money to buy food.
Lejla Allison who received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox in 1993 in Bosnia tells of using the same notebook over and over again for several years and erasing the writing with a rubber band wrapped around a stick. When she received a notebook in her shoebox she was overjoyed.
These gifts from Alexis are an investment in the Kingdom. She gave everything--just like that little boy gave Jesus his lunch of loaves and fishes--and I believe Jesus is going to multiply her gift and bless thousands in His name.
When's the last time you gave like Alexis? Have you saved strategically to make a sacrifice? Have you dared to open your hand and give it all away?
Take The Alexis Challenge...