On Wednesday morning I kind of had a George Muller moment. I was sitting in my chair praying for several thousand more boys' clothing items for my friend Shannon's Operation Christmas Child packing party when the phone rang.
The caller was offering me a donation of what ended up being over 1,500 pairs of sturdy water shoes for our Operation Christmas Child packing party.
I hopped in the car and drove down to load up this wonderful gift, at first thinking I would store them for our party next year. Then I realized how crazy that was. Here I was praying for items for my friend and God had just answered my prayer! I also thought of another upcoming packing party in my area that is in need of items as well.
As I worked to pack my van with those boxes of precious shoes (and, of course, had to call my husband so we could fill his truck, too) I prayed about how we could get them to Altoona (three hours away) within the next day or so.
God answered again and Shannon found a friend who owns a trucking business who could pick up the shoes in Mercer--only an hour's drive from me. We made arrangements to meet there on Thursday.
There were some shoes left that didn't fit in our vehicles on Wednesday, so I left my house early Thursday morning and drove to retrieve them. As I loaded them into my car, I noticed my rear tire was nearly flat. I figured it was a result of the weight of all those shoes. Of course, the air pump didn't work at the gas station a block away so I rolled over to a nearby tire store where a sweet guy loaded it with air.
I drove on to our storage container where we'd put the shoes the night before and loaded my car. That's where it started to get tricky. I'd told Shannon I was bringing her 1,000 pairs of shoes, and I was determined to keep my word. Getting enough shoes into my minivan meant packing it really full and also putting some shoes into bags to stuff them into areas where the cartons wouldn't fit.
I also noticed my tire was getting a little low again. I wondered if driving this load was plain foolishness, but I put a plea for prayer on social media and took off. As soon as I got in the car I realized I could only see out of the windshield and the side mirror on the driver's side. I tried adjusting the boxes in the passenger seat but still could only get a view of the side mirror if I leaned forward in a certain position.
I prayed and drove. I set the cruise for 65 mph, stayed in the right hand lane, and prayed. By God's grace I made it--even though my tire was down again when I got there.
Now the fun began again. I found Harold, the driver who was going to take the shoes on the next leg of their journey, and discovered his short bed truck has less room than my minivan. So we began the Jenga-like process of fitting those cartons into an even smaller vehicle.
And, there are boxes in the back seat and the front seat. It was a blessing that the last of the shoes were in bags because that's the only way they made it into the truck. Next came the laborious process of trying to secure tie-downs on the load.
When we finally finished, Harold and I prayed together over the truck and then gave each other a long, sweaty hug. Then I was off again to find an air machine.
I enjoyed the record-warm weather and the beautiful drive home, despite the fact that my tire was flat again when I pulled into my driveway. Thank You, God, for Your protection.
Next I threw my Operation Christmas Child tablecloth into the washer and started to gather and pack up everything I needed for an OCC display at a Passion Tour concert that evening.
This was another neat blessing from the Lord. When I first heard about this concert with Kristian Stanphill and the Passion Band I thought how great it would be to have an OCC table there. My next thought was that it would never happen. I have to admit, I never even prayed about it.
To my surprise, a few weeks later I received an e-mail from IHQ. By the way, I just learned that means International Headquarters--we have an AFE (acronym for everything.) Anyway...the e-mail said that OCC was given the opportunity to have a table and give out GO boxes at the concert. That was crazy amazing. Sometimes God's blessings just blow me away.
So last evening my husband, my faithful sidekick Pam, and I arrived early and set up our display. We made some great contacts before the concert even started. When it was time for the show to begin, we edged inside and stood at the back. Thankfully.
When the music (sound) and lights started we were almost literally blown away. We lasted for just a couple of minutes before retreating again to the lobby, away from the thumping bass and the shocks of light. My husband said he could feel his heart rhythm changing.
It was even loud in the lobby, but, hey, we'll do anything to hand out some GO boxes. The high decibels seemed to work to our advantage as more and more people retreated to the lobby so that we had a pretty steady stream of people at our table to hear about OCC.
At the end of the concert the promoters even helped us by going into the crowd to distribute GO boxes to anyone we'd missed earlier. I'm praying each one will be filled...
just as this day was full--of challenges and of blessings.