I am still playing catch-up with my blog, but wanted to write a current post to encourage you to get involved in a very special ministry.
I have always loved the idea of Operation Christmas Child, but it was never a priority of mine. I can probably count on one hand how many boxes I had made for children. Back in the spring I was invited to speak at an orphan awareness event. At this event, I had the opportunity to talk to the sweetest girl. I knew this girl through my kids, but had never talked to her one-on-one. When Karina was 11 she was adopted from the Ukraine. She is now either 16 or 17 and is an absolutely amazing girl. She had set up a both to share about an organization she and her family had started to bring hope to orphans in the Ukraine. On her table, she had a old worn out box that had bits and pieces of wrapping paper on it. I asked about the box and she told me it was a shoe box she received as a young girl from Operation Christmas Child. It was one of her prize possessions as a young child and still is today. She spoke about how much this small little gift meant to her. It brought tears to my eyes.
I decided right then and there, our family would never let a year pass without participating in OCC. What a simple way to share love to kids who desperately need it.
So, last night our entire family went to Wal-Mart and bought enough supplies to fill up 7 boxes. Our kids decided we would purchase everything together and then split the price between all of us so they could participate financially too. On the way home, our 14 year old asked how money he would need to put in for his share. I told him I thought it would be around 15 dollars. He said, “geez, that’s more than I get in a week.” I said, “That’s also an extremely small fraction of what you will get for Christmas — and this is some child’s entire Christmas.” He said, “wow, I didn’t think about that.” I then turned to Zach and said, “It’s actually pretty amazing that last year OCC sent out 8 million boxes worldwide.” Zach instantly asked, “How many orphans are worldwide?” I replied, “147 million.” We both sat silent. 8 million seems like a ton until you place it next to a number like 147 million.
Even though that is a somber thought, I know without a doubt that 7 little kids somewhere in our world will feel loved when they receive these boxes. My prayer is that those same 7 kids, if orphaned, will one day be bringing their boxes with them as they enter into a forever family – just like Karina did.
It is not too late for you to make a box!! This week is national collection week and I KNOW there are churches in your area that are drop off locations. The last drop-off day is November 21. PLEASE participate in this wonderful ministry! It will be a blessing to you as well a precious child.
Click HERE for information about OCC and how to pack a shoebox.