Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Operation: FAILED. Almost...

Okay, so this year I decided to fill and send two shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I was so excited to do it, and even more excited to include my kids in the process.

If you don't know what Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is, follow the link above and check it out.  It's a really neat ministry, and it's so fun to be a part of! 

Here's OCC's mission, as stated on their website: "The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ."
Two Sundays ago I grabbed a couple shoeboxes and immediately started telling my kids all about the OCC ministry.  I decided to do a girl age 2-4 box and a boy age 2-4 box to make it more personal for us.  We've talked about it every day since then and I've been especially proud of my son, who's really been interested and trying hard to understand the concept that other kids aren't as fortunate as he is.
I went shopping multiple times throughout this past week for items to fill up the boxes, and spent a lot of time packing and re-packing them (after my kids "helped" me) to get everything to fit just right. 
Yesterday was the last day to drop off the shoe boxes, and I finally finished and was satisfied with ours Sunday evening.  I hadn't intended on waiting to the last minute to drop them off, and there was suprisingly no procrastination on this project.  (I'm normally a HUGE proctrastinator!)  I just really put a lot of time and thought into the boxes and wanted to get them perfect.
Yesterday morning the kids and I slept in a bit, ate a late breakfast, had company over mid-morning, then ate lunch, got ready to leave (we were all still in PJs at this point), waited for a friend to drop something by the house, and finally pulled out of the driveway at 2:30.  For those of you who were more on the ball about Operation Christmas Child than I was are saying "You missed the deadline!  It was at 10:00 am!"
Ugh.  What a disappointment!  Not only for me, but for the kids I've been praying for that were supposed to receive our boxes!  Status of our operation:  FAILED.
Now here's where my husband comes into the story.  He is always trying to fix problems and comes up with 4 answers for every question.  And it's always so obvious to him.  Most of the time it drives me crazy!  But yesterday I was so grateful for this characteristic!  He simply said, "Once the boxes are picked up from the drop-off location they have to go somewhere - so find out where they go and ship your boxes there."
So that's what I did.  I found the address for the OCC headquarters and shipped our boxes this morning.
So now 1 more little boy and 1 more little girl will get a shoebox full of gifts this Christmas.  And more importantly, they'll hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Amen!
For those of you who are interested, you can still be a part of Operation Christmas Child.  They take donations year round, and you can send a packed shoebox year round as well.  (You can find all of this information on their website.)
Or you can pray:
-Pray for the processing and shipping of the boxes. 
-Pray that God directs those boxes into just the right little hands. 
-Pray that God uses OCC to bring joy to kids facing poverty, sickness, or war. 
-Pray the boxes will open doors for those children to hear the Good News. 
-Pray for all the people helping making this ministry possible - the volunteers, contributors, the  National Leadership Team - and every hand who touches one of the shoe boxes.
-And pray for those children, those beautiful children, whose hardships we can't even begin to imagine, and who will surely be blessed by the OCC ministry!
"...for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." (Mark 10:14b-16)

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