Tuesday, November 17, 2015

39 and Counting

Today we took the last load of our Operation Christmas Child boxes to our collection center.  Don't judge me for the larger boxes (insert sound of clearing throat.)  I was desperate--using every single box I could find--and anyway I needed something larger to accommodate those cute backpacks I found on sale at Walmart.

And, in addition to being able to see the carpet in my spare bedrooms for the first time in weeks, there was more good news today.  Last night I had a surprise call from someone offering a donation of new toys and school supplies for filler items for our packing party.  So...today I got a delivery of 24 good-sized cartons full of goodies.

At the same time I am trying to prepare for my husband and me to leave on Thursday to work at the OCC Baltimore Processing Center.  I may not return until the same day my children are coming home to celebrate Christmas so I am doing my usual minimal Christmas decorating and trying to get the house clean while packing for an extended trip and supporting our relay and collection centers.  Oh, and I decided today I should probably get my winter clothes out of the attic.

Not the best time for donations, so they landed in my husband's truck and made a quick trip to the storage container.  I'll enjoy sorting them after the holidays...or maybe when the spring thaw arrives.

By the time we got them to the storage container it was too dark for a picture, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

And you'll also have to take my word for another blessing that arrived today.  Chuck and Lorelei, the couple who have secured donations of paper for us for the past few years, made arrangements to meet me at the storage container with another load at 5:20 pm.  It's a good thing we just had to plop those cases in an empty space by the entrance to the container because we all forgot how early darkness settles in these days.  So, again, there is no picture of this huge pallet of paper cases sitting proudly in the back of their truck.

Here's the neat thing.  I knew this donation was coming so I inventoried the paper we had left after this year's packing party.  There were 13 cases, and I calculated we'd need another 39 cases to be able to put a packet in each of 26,000 boxes for next year.

As we carried the cases from the truck, we stacked them five high with four stacks across.  That made it easy to count 20 cases.  Then we started on the next row, and when we finished unloading the bed of the truck we had 36 cases.  "Wow!"  I said, "That's just a few cases shy of what we need."

"Oh, but I have some in the cab," Chuck said.  One at a time he pulled out three more cases.

Exactly 39.

Chuck, Lorelei, my husband Jim, and I all put our hands on those precious cases and prayed for the children who will use this paper months from now.  Surely the God who brought just the number of cases we need also knows and will meet their needs.  Exactly.

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