I've been thinking today about all the unexpected things Operation Christmas Child volunteers around the world are doing week by week in God's power--His strength in our weakness. I found out last week I was getting a shipment of donated frisbees and jump rope handles sometime in the next few days. My problem was twofold--I wasn't sure when the delivery was coming and my husband and I were going out of town and I had no place to store this delivery.
After some days of concerted prayer the delivery timing fell into place but as of this morning we still had no storage space. I tried several avenues that seemed blocked. Our prayer team prayed. Facebook friends prayed. And within a few hours we had an old truck on the church property available for storage.
The delivery truck arrived promptly as scheduled and the weather was bright and sunny (unlike the driving rain we had last year for this delivery.) The truck space was just enough to store all the cartons.
And we six stalwart 60-something volunteers got the 150 cartons of frisbees and jump ropes stored and the 207 cartons of soap back into the truck for a return delivery in just an hour. God's strength for sure.
You know, my training as a nurse never prepared me to unload a truck and never taught me about lift gates or how to use a pallet jack. Many Operation Christmas Child volunteers were never prepared for such tasks but still learned to do them and perform them competently.
I remember how scared I was in 2009 when I was invited to speak as a volunteer at the processing centers in Charlotte and Boone. My itinerary included instructions to rent a car at the Charlotte airport and to later drive myself to Boone. I was scared. At the time I'd never rented a car and didn't trust my ability to get to Boone without getting lost. I prayed. By God's grace I made it.
Across the world volunteers are doing new tasks like fundraising or handling trucking logistics or importing shipping containers or completing papers for tax exoneration or figuring out how to store or transport cartons of shoebox gifts to remote areas--things they never expected to do and don't feel equipped to handle.
But with prayer and by God's grace all these tasks that are part of getting these precious shoeboxes filled, transported, and received by children around the world as ambassadors of Jesus' love are completed--day by day and year by year.
God's strength in our weakness. Over and over again.