Thursday, September 26, 2013
Just as the Israelites set up "memorial stones" to help them remember times of God's goodness and deliverance, I have a journal where I often record those times of deliverance in my life. And many of those in recent years revolve around Operation Christmas Child.
Last night I couldn't fall asleep so I got up and tracked down my journals from the times of the packing parties in 2009, 2010, and 2011. What a blessing it was to read how God worked in unique ways in each of those years.
In 2009 I wrote of the night before the party, "I couldn't fall asleep...I kept repeating Psalm 37:5 "Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him and He will do this." Then I fell asleep. I wrote later of the actual packing party day, "Things moved more quickly than I thought. I ended up sending Jim over to Wesley to get more notebooks which we never ended up needing but he was also able to get candy, which we did need. The thing I thought we had the most of was toothpaste and we ran out of that first, along with pencils and stuffed animals. By 1:00 we'd packed 5,577 boxes and we were all cleaned up by 2:00."
Then came 2010: "This year I thought I couldn't be surprised at the packing party but I was. About 500 volunteers from 25 different churches and organizations were there and by 3:30 pm we'd packed 12,381 boxes. We used every single box we had. It was chaotic and people had to stand in line waiting but it was such a blessing.. I could sense all the prayers going up because I had a peace I knew was beyond myself."
In 2011: "So many miracles once again. We got the double shipment of tape and labels (the first shipment was never dropped with the cartons). They dropped a 28 foot truck on Friday instead of a 53 foot truck but then were able to change it out in the middle of the night. On Saturday morning we heard that Aaron Crossman who was going to run sound was sick. When I got to Grace at 7:00 am we weren't sure what to do and then Dustin Craig who runs the worship team at Harborcreek just walked in (at 7:00 in the morning?) and took care of it. When he turned on the sound "Bless The Lord Oh My Soul" was playing. Not a coincidence. .... the truck was filled with 670 cartons and still we kept packing and filled 16,145 boxes--strange, since we were only supposed to receive 16,000. Now we have 32 cartons left over than wouldn't fit on the truck and so much stuff left over that we could pack hundreds more boxes."
And then there was last year--when we ran out of white boxes and had to pack GO boxes to get to the goal of 21,106 shoe boxes and still had so many, many items left.
In just a few days I'll be writing about God's blessings on our 2013 packing party.
Because our Faithful God never runs out of miracles to remember.
Posted by Kathy Schriefer at 4:22 AM