Tuesday, December 9, 2008

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

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This past weekend, I had the opportunity to again volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child distribution warehouse in Charlotte, NC with an amazing group of very fun ladies!! This is one of the warehouses where all the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes get sent to for processing. Every shoebox is gone through, to make sure it is safe, before they are put on ships to be distributed to needy children around the world. On this trip, our team even had the very special task of processing the boxes to be shipped to a muslim country. We had to make sure there were no christian symbols of any kind inside the boxes, make sure there were no dolls with removable clothing, nothing with a pig on it (apparently pigs are offensive to them), and a long list of items that were unsafe for these muslim countries. During our training session, I was in tears so many times as we were given our charge for the day - we were on the front lines of the spiritual warfare that goes on in these countries. Our hands were the last to touch these boxes before they were placed in the hands of these children across the world. The safety of the missionaries were in our hands. We were "loading the ammunition" for these missionaries to do battle. Samaratin's purse is able to go into these countries, where otherwise no missionaries can go. By simply being a loving example to these children and these countries in a non-offensive way, God can and will do wonders. It was a very humbling and powerful experience. Time after time, we would come across a box that contained interesting items, that was so clear, were placed there by a humble servant sensitive to the still small voice of our Saviour. Seeing a pair of men's workgloves in a little girl's age 2-4 box. God knows who those workgloves are going to. Seeing boxes full of just socks, and hearing the stories of the little boy with a foot disease, and he longed for nothing other than socks. It is an amazing experience to be part of something so huge, and knowing we are doing so little, but God is orchestrating the enormity of the project. Each box we touched, we prayed over. As you put together your shoeboxes next year, pray fervently that God will tell you exactly what the box should contain - it is such a powerful thing - but so very simple.
We also had the chance to visit the Billy Graham library while we were in Charlotte. That was pretty cool!! You can see the pictures from our trip by entering the code "OCC' under the client section of my site. I just took my point-and-shoot camera, and actually took very, very few pictures (for me!!).

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3 comments:

Wendy said...

I've been anxiously awaiting your Operation Christmas Child post! Your words are so true...we've participated in OCC for many years and always say a prayer for the children receiving our boxes. It's difficult for the boys to comprehend how different life can be in other cultures and how truly little these children possess when we're blessed with so much. It's a wonderful mission and we're so blessed to have had such great ladies "on the front lines"--thanks for taking time away from your families to support such a wonderful cause! Merry Christmas, my friend!

Nana said...

What a neat exerience. Our church goes to Atlanta. I keep hoping maybe one year I can go. I love doing the shoeboxes and I am so glad we do them at our church. This year our goal for our own church was 1000 boxes. We actualy had 1002 boxes turned in just for our church. That is a lot of boxes and what a blessing they will be. Ours go to India.

Wife and Mom said...

I love OCC and started the program at our chuch years ago. We have a fantastic woman that leads it now that is God's lady for the job-no doubt. I love your pictures and seeing what you are up to way up North!