Sunday, May 28, 2017

Filling Spaces

It's been another wonderful Operation Christmas Child week. On Thursday we had a work day to prepare for our September packing party.  We woke to lots of rain.  I'd been praying all week for good weather and on the way to the church I modified my prayer and just asked God to give us a break in the rain so we could move the items we needed out of the storage container without them being soaked.

God blessed and allowed us to do that.  We had 19 people come to help us fill MORE Easter eggs with stickers, fold and rubber band tote bags, and construct jump ropes (we probably only have 17,000 of those to go!)

The egg story is nuts.  At first I didn't think we'd find any eggs at all for the 8,000 fillers I'd purchased.   Then God provided 11,748 eggs--too many for the fillers.  THEN we got a huge donation of stickers and needed more eggs to fill...and God provided another 5,000.  On Thursday we finished filling eggs with all the donated stickers and still have almost 2,000 eggs left. we wait for God to provide more fillers, and I know He will because He never wastes anything so stay tuned. Crazy!

To make it even better, one of our local TV stations unexpectedly sent a crew to film at our work day and we got three more media hits with more exposure for OCC.  We're so blessed by Pam, our faithful media coordinator, who works to get every opportunity for more people in our community to hear about shoeboxes.

More stuffed animal donations came in on Thursday and yesterday, Saturday, found me out on the safari for animals again.  I was praying for 300 and only found 147 but I know there were some other 'hunters' on our team who found more so we don't have a final weekend count yet.

Meanwhile, I'm running out of space in my house again.  On Thursday I noticed there was some space at the top of the stack of boxes in the container and thought it would be enough to place some thin bags of stuffed animals.

So this morning I loaded the car with 16 bags and headed into the storage container after the morning service was over.  I have always had a problem with spatial relationships and today was no exception. I got up on the ladder with a bag in my hands, looked at the space (see picture above) and realized it was only about six inches high--not nearly enough to fit the bags I had.

I figured if I could untie the tight knots in the bags and spread the animals out over a larger surface I'd have a chance to shove some in.

I could only find one pen in the whole storage container and used that to push and loosen the knot.  Unfortunately, it soon broke and had to be rigged together in order to work.

After five minutes I got the first bag's knot untied, crawled up the ladder, and used a broom my smart husband had put into the car to help push the animals back.

After a half hour I managed to cram five more bags into the space. Then Jim came out and told me I was crazy to work so hard to save a few feet of storage.  Well, yeah, I knew that...but desperate times call for desperate measures and when God keeps sending you blessings you need to preserve every inch.

Thank You, God, for filling our spaces with good things.

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