On this third day of Operation Christmas Child's collection week I was going to visit our collection center in East Springfield but the coordinator, Pat Carter, told me they wouldn't have many boxes to cartonize until tomorrow (why does my spell check not recognize the word 'cartonize'?)
So I went and hung out with three volunteers at the Erie Collection Center for an hour or so and then came home and made some calls.
I heard some tragic news from Dianne Oschman, relay center coordinator at Heckathorn UM Church in Seneca, PA. Their pastor's wife died unexpectedly yesterday which has, of course, thrown things into confusion. They could understandably have asked us to move the relay center held in their church, but instead they will keep the center open--even during the funeral. A neighboring church has offered to allow their social hall to be used for the funeral dinner so the relay center can remain open. Please pray for this faithful church during this difficult time.
The Corry relay center had a packing party with kids from their children's ministry and packed 50 boxes. They're at nearly 400 boxes now.
Rose Dobson, a team member from Edinboro, brought in 87 cartons filled with 1737 shoeboxes--most of which she packed by herself. What an amazing ministry. Pat Carter also packed over 1,000 boxes by herself this year.
At the Erie collection center 348 boxes were brought in by Fellowship Baptist Church--they've been participating in Operation Christmas Child since 1994, and though their church attendance is fewer than 20 people they packed more boxes than ever this year.
On this third day we're seeing so many examples of individuals and small churches being empowered by God to rise up and pack unbelievable numbers of boxes.
Rising up--a fitting theme for this third day.