Blessings come in all forms and many times when you least expect it. Last month, I shared my desire to pack at least 100 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
In order to reach this goal I presented to opportunity for fellow bloggers to become involved and part of the process by sponsoring a box for $7.00. I have enough supplies ( school supplies, personal hygiene items, toys, shoes etc..) to fill at least 100 boxes. As of today, 15 boxes have been sponsored. That being said, I wanted to again thank Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily for her continued support of the shoe boxes. Carla, you are truly a blessing. :)
It is stories like these that motivates me....
God uses Operation Christmas Child to touch the lives of Philippine children living in dire conditions.
It smells so strongly of trash and cow dung at the big garbage dump
outside of Manila that most people hold handkerchiefs to their noses to
block some of the smell. No one wants to visit this area. Muck swallows
shoes, leaving people barefoot in the smelly mess.
And yet there are people who live and work here.
These people are lower-class Filipinos. They collect bottles and other
pieces of trash to sell. Their houses sit right on the edge of the dump
site and are made of trash. While most people crinkle their noses and
want to leave, the dump people smile and laugh while the brown
concoction on the ground squishes deeper in between their toes.
The children in this area are quiet but happy. Boys run shirtless
through small patches of grass with a soccer ball. Girls watch and
giggle in their crisp, white school blouses and plaid skirts. They’ve
just finished a day of school and walked home under the hot and sticky
Today, the smiles are a little wider. On the walk home, the children
cradle Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes underneath their elbows.
This was a special day at school, a day of surprises. Although the
teachers had tried to keep it a secret, the children had found out that
they would receive gifts, and they were excited. Before she received her
shoe box, 8-year-old Joy listed the things she wanted.
“School supplies … slippers … a pencil case … a pencil … anything that can be used for writing … and shoes.”
She paused between each item as if she was afraid to say that she wanted
more than one thing. Only after being prompted did she continue her
Nine-year-old Ralph slowly listed what he wanted, too.
“School supplies, school bag, a T-shirt, shoes and socks.”
All of these are simple things that most American children take for
granted. But in impoverished areas like this one, school supplies and
basic clothing make a huge difference.
“Education is the only way out,” said Marlin, pastor of the church that
arranged the shoe box distribution at the school. “OCC will make a
difference for them.”
With new school supplies, the children will have more opportunities in
class. But the shoe boxes don’t just offer physical items to make life
better for children. The gifts also present an opportunity to learn
about the Gospel.
That’s exactly what Ralph did. When he accepted his gift, he also
accepted Christ. As he kicks a soccer ball to a friend, his smile isn’t
just because of his new toys. Now he has found God’s love.
Ralph and his friends were offered “The Greatest Gift of All” booklet
with their gifts, which explains the story of Christ and salvation
through Him. Ralph said he is excited to learn more about Jesus. He is
blessed because his mother is also a Christian, and she taught him about
Christ even before he believed.
Joy also received the booklet, but she didn’t look at it as soon as she
received it. She said she wanted to look at it later. When she reads
“The Greatest Gift of All,” there is hope that she too will find
At the end of the day, the smiling faces at the dump pick up their last
bottles and throw them into bags. Then they walk the short distance to
Children have finished playing soccer and are helping to prepare the
evening meal. Over dinner, they will talk about their day at school.
Parents will see every gift in the shoe boxes, and they, too, will hear
about how Jesus loves them.
You too can be a part of this great ministry. There is a donate button at the top left of my blog :)
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