Friday, April 13, 2012

What Makes A Good OCC Box?

There's been some debate lately on the Operation Christmas Child discussion boards about what makes a good Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.  As I think more about this, I realize that what is treasured by one child might not be valued so much by another.  I know this from giving gifts to my own children.  If a little boy really desires a Hot Wheels car, then an expensive watch won't turn his head.

My friend and fellow-OCC Area Coordinator, Jaimie Lindley, had the privilege of distributing shoeboxes recently in the Dominican Republic and she told me about the boy and his mother pictured above.  The mother was helping in children's ministry at the church where the boxes were given out that day and when her son ran to her yelling "Mama, Mama!" and showing her his box, she burst into tears.

Jaimie was watching and asked an interpreter to talk with the mother to get the story.  The interpreter explained to Jaimie that the son had been praying for only one thing in his shoebox--a baseball glove.  And, as you can see from the picture, that is just what he received--the desire of his heart and the answer to his prayers.

A bit later, on the bus with her team, Jaimie told the story and her husband piped up and said, "That's not the end of the story.  I was there when he opened his box and all his friends also got gloves and balls in their boxes."  So, Jaimie explains, God gave that boy not only a ball and glove--He gave him a whole team!  Only our loving God can know what each child who will receive a box needs and desires and as we pray and fill them in the best way we can, He can use these gifts to meet those needs.

The interesting thing is that at the OCC Connect Conference in the Philadelphia area I was in a conversation with another OCC volunteer about what makes a good shoebox.  The volunteer said, "Sometimes people just don't pack very good boxes.  I went to work at the processing center in Charlotte and one day I inspected this box and all it had in it was a baseball glove and a ball."  She shook her head and clucked her tongue.

And I said, "Umm, let me tell you a story..."

1 comment:

  1. How perfectly wonderful, Kathy, thanks for sharing.