Sunday, June 18, 2017

Same Old...

photo credit: Tiffanie Wells

Well, it's happened again.  One of my sweet blog readers messaged me to see if I'm okay since it's been so long since I posted an update. 

Life just seems to move faster and faster and if God grants me another thirty or so years I'm afraid they'll be gone in a flash.  As I age and get closer to eternity the things that mattered so much to me decades ago have paled in importance.  I find I want to be investing in things that have real significance.

 I need to "translate the cause" to myself more and more these days.  Is it worth the time to drive around town hunting stuffed animals and sorting and washing them?  Should we be spending so much money and energy preparing for a large packing party or focus on recruiting new churches?  The questions aren't new and the answers aren't easy to find.

Meanwhile I keep praying for wisdom...and I keep driving and sorting and washing.  I was so blessed when my friend Tiffanie posted the picture above of a little boy she met on her recent Operation Christmas Child distribution trip to Rwanda.  His precious face is enough 'cause'.

Last Saturday night I'd just finished sorting and bagging stuffed animals when a knock came at my door and more donations arrived.  I was glad to get them, of course, but the room I'd just tidied was a mess again.  I started to sort then took a break to check email and found a message from my Community Relations Coordinator telling me she is stepping down from the team.  I looked around at the mess and felt discouragement start to close in.  Then, abruptly, I felt my spirits lift as I reminded myself that God is in charge of our team and He will provide.  Someone must have been praying.

Each of the past several weeks we've prayed for 500 stuffed animals and God has provided them.  This week I knew I wouldn't be able to go on my normal Saturday safari hunt for animals because of a commitment to volunteer at a middle school day camp through our local Erie City Mission. So I traveled to a few thrift stores through the week and by Saturday I was only 65 away from that goal of 500.  Imagine my surprise today when several people brought donations to church--a total of 355 precious animals!  As near as I can estimate, we only need 13,500 more to be able to put a stuffed animals in each of the 27,000 boxes we're praying to pack at the packing party.

And God is blessing us in other ways, too.  We had good, WARM fellowship (must have been 95 degrees in our house) at our team meeting last Monday and we added a new member to our Church Relations Team.  We're gearing up for another packing party work day this Thursday, and I'm praying for wisdom about another decision.  A vendor I work with has offered to sell me 20,000 or more cloth visors at a lower price if I buy them now.  I don't need them for this year's packing party so he will hold them in his warehouse until September.  Should I invest in these now or does God have something better for us later?  Just praying for an answer. 

Driving, sorting, cleaning, praying...just the same old...

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