Monday, September 29, 2014

When The Sun's Shining Down

The past few days have been soaked in sun--both literally (with blue skies and temps in the 70s) and spiritually with answered prayers and blessings abounding.

Let me count just a few of the blessings in the past 48 hours--

1)  Rock The Lakes Erie--Three years ago our Operation Christmas Child Regional Director, Leigh Fisher, called to say she was contacted by a representative from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to ask about churches in Erie that participated in OCC.  Leigh told me she referred them to me and I received a call asking me to compile a list of leading pastors in our area.  The list was created, a meeting was planned, and I had the privilege of being there when the idea of inviting Franklin Graham to Erie for a festival was proposed.  I never became part of the planning for the event but I've been praying through these years just the same.

This weekend I was able to watch hundreds of people from my community make a decision for Christ.  Pretty amazing stuff to witness.  My personal favorite answer to prayer this weekend came when one of my blog readers made  the long trip from her home in Virginia to Erie to bring me 400+ stuffed animals AND to invite some relatives she'd been praying for to come to Rock The Lakes.  Two of her aunts attended with her and one of them prayed to give her life to Jesus.  That's the ultimate highlight.

2)  Getting our OCC storage container unloaded for the upcoming packing party.   Our pastor made an unexpected announcement in the church service asking for volunteers to help and we even had some new friends from donor ministries with Samaritan's Purse and BGEA who came to serve.  We had the container unloaded in under an hour and the organization of the items in the church is phenomenal.  That sun was sure shining.

3)  Amazing deliveries -- Today our first truck for the packing party was scheduled to be dropped at the church sometime after noon.  When I arrived this  morning a bit after 9:00 am the truck was already sitting there--in the wrong spot.  By God's grace, though, it's actually positioned in a place that's more accessible for offloading the 11 pallets of supplies by hand more conveniently.  And my husband figured out they can move it to the right spot when they drop the second truck on Friday.

An hour later there we were at the church with two male volunteers in addition to my husband (this never happens) when the ABF truck with four tall pallets from Maryland containing donated filler items arrived.

I expected we'd have to unload them by hand but I was delighted to find the truck had a lift gate and the servant-hearted driver was willing to use his pallet jack to move them into the places we needed them.  (Note:  a few years ago I'd never heard of a lift gate or a pallet jack--the things I've learned through OCC.) Best of all, those tall pallets just made it through the church door.

4) Packing party prep hours-- A handful of volunteers also bagged hundreds more bars of soap and got labels affixed to 600 boxes so far.

5) Presents in Packages--It's not my birthday or Christmas but presents keep arriving for me.  When I got to the church today there were FOUR boxes sent from Cheryl in Indiana filled with gorgeous filler items and stuffed animals--including a whole box of the sweetest little stuffed hamsters ever.

Then there was another box of stuffed animals and wonderful balls from Diane in Colorado

And another box from Courtney in Lancaster, PA with a sweet note, more animals, adorable socks, more cute fillers, and even 200 pens.

There were also several bags of stuffed animals left at my back door today

And a very special card was tucked inside the back door that had a tremendously encouraging note along with a cash donation of $250 that will go a long way to bless more children.

Blessed be Your name when the sun's shining down on me...

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