Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For Want Of A Pencil

I've had trouble finding good deals on pencils for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes this year.  At the same time, I've heard several specific stories about how necessary these simple items are.

A team of Operation Christmas Child volunteers went to Uganda in May to distribute shoebox gifts.  They were told that the greatest reason for school absenteeism is that country is the lack of a pencil.  Can you imagine?  I don't know any children in the US who can't go to school for that reason.  In fact, in my job I daily face the problem of children who have all they need but just don't want to be in school.

When they gave the shoeboxes to the children at one distribution in Uganda, a little boy was asked what his favorite gift in his shoebox was, and he replied emphatically, "a pencil!"  Not the candy or the toys--A PENCIL was his most valued gift.

I used to use the benchmark of 2 cents for a pencil and wouldn't pay more than that, but this year I've had trouble finding any online deals for less than 5 cents. So today I went to our local Target and bought 140 packs of 24 pencils.  They were $1.00 each--a little more than 4 cents per pencil.

That's less than 1/10th of the number we need to put two in each of our boxes at our packing party, though.  So I'd appreciate your prayers for God's leading in getting enough of these important school supplies that can make the difference in whether or not a child goes to school.

We're getting some help this week from Hill Memorial United Methodist Church in Bradford, PA.  The children in their "Pirates of the Galilean" VBS are bringing in money to buy pencils for our packing party--arrgghh!  They'll be my 'mateys' forever.

Join me in praying, too, that God will provide at least 9.1 million of these precious Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes around the world in 2012....and that no child will be in want of a pencil

1 comment:

  1. Pencils are my new favorite thing to pack, after receiving a letter from a family who received one of our shoeboxes thanking us for school supplies and then watching the movie The First Grader (hard to watch at times but so good). Pencils bring hope! Praying for lots of pencils :)