Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chick-fil-A Guests

I've been battling some sort of gastrointestinal bug and when I got home from school on Monday I headed for the recliner, covered myself with a blanket and said, "I've been waiting for this all day."

My husband, however, produced coupons for free meals at Chick-fil-A and insisted we should head there for dinner.  It was pouring outside.  I didn't feel like eating more than toast.  Still, we headed into the rain a little before 6:00pm to drive up Peach St.

As we headed into the restaurant I spotted one of our friends, Rodney Snyder and thought, "Wow, they must have gotten some free food coupons, too."  Just as I glanced to my right and saw my 98-year-old mother sitting there, a chorus of voices yelled, "SURPRISE!"

I was bewildered and teary as our friend and Chick-fil-A staffer, Bob Boynton, explained that CFA has a program where they choose a monthly "Guest of Honor" and that our Operation Christmas Child team was being honored that night.  I looked around to see about 20 folks--my family and many of our OCC team members and some church friends--and couldn't believe how blessed I felt.

The orange roses and the tiara-embellished Santa hat were wonderful but just being able to enjoy this amazing dinner with so many friends was a memory that will last a lifetime.
Patti Seth, our Operation Christmas Child collection center coordinator from Warren, and her husband Tom drove an hour and a half to Erie to be with us.  What a blessing that was.

I looked around the room and realized that God used each person there to work the miracle of allowing our Northwestern PA area team to collect 111,743 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts (aka 'gospel opportunities') since the team was formed in 2007.

So we were guests of honor treated royally by Chick-fil-A last night but the real guests are the thousands of children who are receiving those tokens of God's love because of His grace working through all of us--our team on 'this side of the box' and the National Leadership Teams in each country on 'that side of the box'.

Special thanks go out to our Erie Chick-fil-A owner, Bryan Auton,  CFA marketing director Tina Kociolek (who even picked out roses that matched my sweater) and our friend and CFA employee, Bob Boynton,

You all blessed me in an incredible way by making our team your Guests of Honor.  And if somehow you're reading this blog and you've never had the wonderful pleasure of packing a shoebox to bless a child in Jesus' name--well, go to www.samaritanspurse.org/occ and find out how you can do just that.

Be our guest.

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