Monday, February 6, 2012

Shoeboxes in Haiti

In Operation Christmas Child world there are many people longing to go to another country to distribute shoeboxes to the children.  To see those smiling faces firsthand is a dream for many who have labored long and hard at packing shoeboxes for years.

Today this picture arrived on my phone, sent from a mission team from our church that's ministering in Haiti right now.  They had the unexpected pleasure of distributing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes at a school there this morning.

The amazing thing to me is that when another team went from our church last year at about this time they also had the opportunity to distribute Operation Christmas Child boxes.  To have this happen to a team from our church two years in a row seems beyond belief.

I'm so happy that more friends from our church, including our senior pastor and another staff member, had this chance to see for themselves what these boxes mean to the children who receive them.  

Hopefully, they will have an even better idea of what it means that they've been willing to let us take over the church for a week at the end of September for the past three years.   They'll see those smiles and understand the value of having an ugly 40 foot storage container nestled against the side of their pristine church building all year long.

Last summer one of the church's staff said, "If we spent as much time promoting every ministry as we do promoting Operation Christmas Child we'd never have any time left in the service."

 I hope that seeing these children's faces will help them to see how grateful I am for every minute Grace Church has taken out of their worship time to make an announcement, every inconvenience they've suffered and every dollar they've spent to support three huge community-wide packing parties and three church-wide shoebox collections that have resulted in nearly 37,000 Operation Christmas Child boxes being sent.

37,000 boxes sent out over the past 3 years.  That's a lot of smiles.

And it's worth it.

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