Friday, December 11, 2015

Light in Darkness

Today we had a full house at the Baltimore processing center--praise the Lord!  Hopefully this means more boxes will be processed today.  Last year on this day of the season we were on our way home with the job finished, but not so this year.  There are still many trucks of boxes waiting to be unloaded.

I'm not quite sure how I should spend my days as chaplain here.  What I most enjoy is praying over the pages of prayer requests.  I keep a list of each of the prayer requests that are put into our prayer request boxes, and that list now fills five pages.  I pray over each of them at least once a day.

And, I pray for volunteers and associates as I have the opportunity.  It's easier to talk with the volunteers who are working on extra projects but those who are working on the lines usually need to pay close attention to their jobs so it's not easy to engage them in conversations.

At one point today we had so many extra volunteers we were scrambling to get each of them set up with meaningful jobs.  One of those jobs was folding belts and securing them with rubber bands.  One group spent a few hours doing this job.  We opened one box of belts and found they were printed with camouflage--definitely inappropriate--so they had to be taken to the inappropriate area where the items are donated to local charities.  Every item is used for God's Kingdom in some way.

In the midst of the uncertainty there are some bright spots in the days.  I've had the chance to pray with some volunteers and employees from time to time, and it's been a joy to help out with a few tours for children.  Yesterday we had two tour groups from Arundel Christian School.  I love sharing Operation Christmas Child with children and youth because you never know what impact their lives can have if they really catch the vision for the ministry.

A few days ago USA Today printed the story of a fourth grader in Alabama who had a vision to pack more shoeboxes and spread that vision on social media.  She and her family packed over 5,000 boxes.  Maybe one of these children will lead a charge like that one day.   It's something to pray about.

Which brings me back to that five page list of prayer requests.  Most of them are requests that deal with health, safety, or finances.  This morning as I read the first chapter of Ephesians I realized again that even though God cares about each of our needs He really cares most that we come to know Him or know Him better.

So today, as I prayed for each person's request, I prayed for them to also know God and for His light to shine in their darkness.

That's really what Operation Christmas Child is all about--light shining in darkness.

And I guess praying against the darkness is a pretty good way to spend my day.

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