Saturday, May 2, 2015

Two More Distributions

After a wonderful time of worship and devotions this morning we headed out for two more Operation Christmas Child shoe box distributions.  I was feeling anxious today because I had the responsibility of delivering two shoe boxes packed with items donated by my area team.  I knew they were counting on me to get pictures for them of the children who received their gifts.  I'm not the greatest photographer and I'm not great under pressure--a bad combination at shoe box distributions where things move fast.

Our first stop was at El Pacto Evangelico in the community of El Rizal Manrique Oriental.  Church leader Zulay Echeverry Balbin is a pastor and a teacher who has a huge heart for the children in the community.  She is also active on the OCC Regional Team.  Zulu arranged for 350 children to attend this distribution.

The neat thing about this one is that many of the parents of the children attended and were able to hear the gospel message along with their children.  Our hosts were so welcoming and served us all plastic cups of wonderful strawberry juice.

I was able to give my first box to Laula, the little girl pictured above, and I got a bit of video of her excitement at opening her box.  Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted most of the pictures I took at this site but am hoping to get some from my team to post later so you can see the site.

Things got a little crazy when we ran out of boys' boxes and had to give some of the boys boxes that were packed for girls.  This upset some of the parents and we ended up making a quick exit to the bus in order to defuse the situation.

After another great lunch at a restaurant next door to the site, we got back into the bus for another death-defying ride.

Our afternoon distribution was such a joy.  It was sponsored by Power of Heaven Wesleyan Church led by pastor Santiago Salazar Gil and his wife of three months.  The distribution was held at the public school from which Santiago graduated.  This growing church has 400 people involved in area small groups with multiple corporate weekend services.

The gospel presentation at this distribution was amazing and was led almost entirely by the competent youth of the church.  They had wonderful crowd control and the children really got a chance to hear a strong gospel message presented in several different ways.  It was fun to hear them sing two songs with the children that dated back to my own youth.

One of the youth helping is named Majerlly and she told us she received a shoe box when she was eight years old and another at age twelve.  As a twelve-year-old she got a harmonica in her box and it made her cry with joy.  She says she was excited to help with the distribution today because it helped her relive that joy she had when she received her own box.

What a blessing it was to give the second box packed with items from our team to a sweet girl named Sara.

There was a lot of squealing and excitement when those boxes were opened...

I managed to accidentally delete quite a few pictures from my camera today and the internet here in the hotel is pretty slow, so posting more pictures will have to wait.

Tonight we were blessed by a program featuring Colombian folk dances and bits of local culture.  They ended by praising the Lord "in the Colombian way"--including a Conga line that called for group participation, but I declined.

My lack of Conga ability was one of the reasons I was hesitant to come on another distribution trip.  And I thought I was getting out of dancing when we didn't have to perform any choreography this time...

Well, off to rest up for tomorrow's graduation from the Operation Christmas Child discipleship program.  Let's just hope it doesn't involve dancing--lol

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