Wednesday, May 30, 2012
An impact story from Uganda of Samaritan's Purse, posted just today.
May 30, 2012A Place To Call Home
I have been thinking a lot recently about where I call home.
While living in Uganda I have referred to both the United Kingdom and Uganda as home. When Chris and I are planning a trip to the UK we talk to our staff about going home for a few weeks. Then when we are in the UK and coming to the end of our holiday we talk to our family about when we go back home—referring to Uganda.
We have been privileged to call two places home. In less than a week we will be leaving our Uganda home and heading back to our original home in the UK, a transition that brings many emotions. However, the concept of home was put in to perspective last week when I visited our refugee feeding project in Western Uganda.
We have recently taken over a project that is providing food in six refugee settlements in Western Uganda. The refugees are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Somalia, and other countries in Africa.
Last week the project was asked to expand to also cover a rapidly growing settlement near our field office in Kamwenge that is receiving refugees from DRC. When we arrived at the food distribution point within the settlement, a huge lorry was offloading people and belongings. The refugees receive a plot of land to set up a temporary home, and then potentially a more permanent structure.
That day 1,5000 new refugees arrived, and they are expecting at least 3,000 each week. Soon the settlement will be hosting nearly 30,000 people.
Seeing these individuals and families with everything there could carry when they were forced to flee was indescribable. I cannot imagine feeling so in danger that I pack what I can carry and run from my home. We have accumulated so much stuff during out time in Uganda that I want to keep, so we are packing bag after bag. If I have to carry it on my back I would be prioritizing very differently.
It was amazing to see the exhausted, bewildered, desperate people receiving a hot meal and then being given a basic hygiene and household supply kit and a monthly ration of food. After the journey they had been on that was the least we could do to help them start their new life.
These people really have nothing. They are in a new country where they don’t speak the language, but it is better than the alternative. I felt privileged to be connected to a project that is among the first people to welcome these refugees to their new home.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Oh, I love this doll. Everything could be done just as in the instruction.. but the size would need to be scaled down to fit in the shoebox. I am NOT good at sewing but I understood the pattern and instructions and feel that I could do this! And if I can... you can too!
Find the full instructions at http://www.make-baby-stuff.com/free-doll-pattern.html
Monday, May 28, 2012
Also keep watch for great deals on summer items-
Outdoor toys- balls, small frisbees, beach balls, jumpropes, etc
These items are everywhere and some stores are already starting to mark them down occasionally. Wonderful things for our shoeboxes can sometimes be found for next to nothing. Happy Shopping!
We are so blessed to live in a nation that is free.. free to worship Jesus.. free to spread the gospel. And so blessed to live in a land of prosperity, even during this economic downturn. There is a price to freedom. And I am beyond humbled when I think of that cost, in lives, in hardship, in blood.
As I am involved in OCC I am SO aware that there are many in the world who do not have that freedom and are not able to worship God openly.
And on Memorial Day, I also remember our Savior who laid down His life willingly for freedom. And therefore, I desire to spread to others around the world the Good News that they are offered TRUE ETERNAL FREEDOM. And we have the right to spread the gospel because of the sacrifice of our heroes. Thank you.
Posted by lambofHisflock at 9:01 PM
Sunday, May 27, 2012
So watch these children, and rejoice with them.
Posted by lambofHisflock at 5:28 PM
As we await news and pictures from Wayne and Terrie from their shoebox distribution in Ugand, please pardon me once again for posting not about OCC. Still, this IS about reaching Uganda for Christ and in love. This time, I wanted to give a glimpse into Uganda through a different woman, Therese MacFarlane, a missionary sponsored in part my by own church. You can follow her on her blog at http://whereheleadsgo.blogspot.com/
Posted by lambofHisflock at 3:07 PM
Saturday, May 26, 2012
If you have the chance read Kisses From Katie, the book, at many libraries. And visit her blog, http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/
See how God is working through the love of this woman. Be prepared with kleenex.
To taste just a glipse...
Posted by lambofHisflock at 1:38 PM
Friday, May 25, 2012
A Year of OCC
- After Christmas Sales - Wrapping Paper, tape, clearance stocking stuffers, small plush, candy canes, and various fun items for the boxes can be found
- After Valentine's Clearance - Candy (that won't expire), small plush and toys and pencils. Hearts help show the love of Christ
- After winter clearance - gloves, hats, scarves (generally will get down to 25cents eventually)
- Washcloths and Soap (Dollar Tree sells 3 packs of Dial basic soap for $1, and 3 packs of washcloths for $1 although I often find sale ones elsewhere of better quality for just a bit more)
- Musical Instruments - harmonica, kazoo, maracas, castanets, recorder, whistle, etc.
-Easter Clearance - cute plush (lambs??), religious items, pencils, small toys
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste (if you have not found these through great coupon deals for all but free, the dollar stores have these available all year)
- Summer Items - toys, balls, beachballs, jumpropes, flipflops, sunglasses.. whatever you can find at good prices
- Hotel soaps throughout the summer or whenever you travel
- Practical items - tote bag, pencil case, water bottle or cup, sewing kit, calculator (it is not unusual to find solar calculators for $1 at Walmart), fishing kit, tools, work gloves, gardening tools.... in short whatever you feel lead to give.. or find at a great deal, appropriate for the age you are shopping for.
- Back to School - Pencils, Notebooks, Crayons, Pencil Sharpener, Scissors, Ruler, Erasers, etc
- End of Summer Clearance - flipflops, hats, tshirts, sunglasses
- End of Summer Clearance Continued
- Socks, or other practical clothing items
- Combs, Brushes, Barrettes, hairbands, etc
- Leftover or Sale Halloween Candy
- Toy or Doll or Car for the Box
- Photo or postcard or letter for your box
As you see, my goal is to spread items throughout the year, capitalizing on sales as able... and buying a good variety of items all year.
If all you do is buy 1-2 items per month, usually at $1 each or less, you will easily fill a box by November... for very little money. If you shop sales and coupons and deals... buying multipacks when that is the best deal.. you may find that for what you used to spend on 1 box you can fill MANY boxes!!!
With each new tweet and post and picture, I grow more eager to hear the update from Wayne and Terrie... and I am urged anew to lift my heart in prayer! Just LOOK at these precious children!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
$5 off $20 purchase of Barbies at Walmart
$5 off $20 purchase of Hot Wheels at Walmart
These coupons generally go quickly, so if you are interested grab your copies today. http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Toys-and-Games-Coupons-901/
Today there was a post from Chris who is in Uganda distributing shoeboxes:
He said: This little one was thrilled to receive a gift. She couldn't stop smiling. http://lockerz.com/s/211234479
I followed the link and there were MANY photos.
Check them out!
Posted by lambofHisflock at 10:41 PM
This post is from Life Inside The Box at http://occnwpa.blogspot.com Her blog is also about this distribution trip to Uganda! After reading this, I am so excited for school supply sale time to come!!
Praying for Uganda
These children from Uganda are working through The Greatest Journey--a discipleship training course made available to many children after they receive their gift-filled shoe boxes from Operation Christmas Child.
This photo was shared by Leigh Fisher, my OCC Regional Director. Leigh and a team of about 70 other OCC friends--staff and volunteers--are in Uganda right now taking part in distributing boxes to the children, learning more about the work of Operation Christmas Child in Uganda, and encouraging pastors and the National Leadership Team there in the area near Kampala.
Here is a picture of Leigh with some of the sweet children of Uganda.
These children are so blessed by the simple gifts in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. Katie Davis writes this about school supplies in Uganda, "In Uganda, a tablet is expensive. A new pen or pencil is a treasure. Many children don't get excited about going to school because even if they have the money for school fees they may not be able to buy their supplies."
I once heard the head of the OCC National Leadership Team say that a box of crayons can cost a week's wages in Uganda. Imagine what a box of crayons will mean when a child finds one in her shoe box!
Won't you be praying this week for our Operation Christmas Child volunteers and staff in Uganda. Pray that those who are there from the US this week will have eyes to see what God wants them to see and be given words to share with the rest of us.
And pray that the team who lives in Uganda will have great wisdom in distributing these shoe box gifts and training a new generation of children to love and follow the Lord.
God hears and He answers. So just pray!
Posted by lambofHisflock at 7:17 AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Grace, a 10-year-old girl who received a shoe box gift and participated in The Greatest Journey in Malawi said, "Since we started the discipleship lessons, my life has changed a lot. I have developed boldness to stand up as a child of God. When we learn about David and Goliath, I have trusted God that He is always with me. Before the lesson, I used to fear a lot about sin and the bullies, but now I know how to overcome sin and how to stand up and trust God to give me strength."
Monday, May 21, 2012
From Samaritan's Purse:
For the Sake of Love
A group of young people sacrifice the comforts of home to deliver shoe box gifts to children in UgandaAn acrid, burning smell fills the air as the vehicle bumps past block after block of low, mangled tin buildings. The coaster—an oversized van or undersized bus, depending on whom you ask—provides little cushion from the rutted, red dirt roads. Shining dark faces glance up in surprise, as the rich brown eyes catch a glimpse through the windows.
“Mzungu! Mzungu!” The tiny children cry out with glee to see a bus full of 25 foreigners pass. Many jump up and down, throwing their hands up in greeting, and then chasing behind as fast as their dusty legs will carry them. Others just stare, pondering what might possibly bring such a crowd to their little corner of Uganda.
This scene played out time and again as 25 youth and their chaperones from the United States trekked from Kampala, across the southwestern end of the country to Kamwenge, and back again. They chose to forgo one week of their summer vacations, trading lazy days at the beach for back-breaking hours shoveling silt out of fish ponds, sifting sand for home water filters—and delivering Operation Christmas shoe box gifts to nearly 2,500 children.
As the youth team traveled through the countryside, visiting and working at various Samaritan’s Purse projects along the way, they spent nights without electricity and running water. They crammed themselves and their luggage onto bouncing buses, without air conditioning or seat belts. All for the sake of love.
Ephesians 3:14-21 quickly became a theme verse for the trip, cropping up in several devotions that were independently planned before arriving in Uganda. Strangers quickly became friends as they ministered the love of Jesus to others, and experienced His love in return.
Nowhere was the love of Christ more tangible than at the Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift distributions. Thousands of children, many wearing neat school uniforms, crowded the various schools, churches, and orphanages in Kampala and Masaka.
The girls and boys sat patiently, lined neatly in rows according to age and gender. At each distribution, members of the Samaritan's Purse youth team took turns explaining that, because of God’s love, each child there would receive a gift.
At one distribution, a small girl sat down in Alicia Morrison’s lap.
“She just wanted love,” Alicia said.
When Alicia stood up to share with the crowd about Jesus, the girl followed. Throughout the distribution, she stuck close by her new friend’s side, wanting to be held and cuddled, taught how to play with her foreign toys.
“Even though we were not able to communicate well because of the language barrier, she still felt loved because she could see the love of God working in all of us,” Alicia said. “As much as some of the families and children needed physical help, more than anything they need the love of God dwelling in their hearts.”
The team got to know a small part of Africa and its people that week, and was changed by their interactions with Uganda’s people. Each hand held, each little waist hugged, taught that Christ’s love is longer, higher, and deeper than any ocean or distance separating the two cultures. Each nail hammered, each scoop of mud shoveled, demonstrated that the Lord is able to do more than we ask or imagine.
Stephanie Sharron, 16, summed up the trip and the impact of Operation Christmas Child with a story from the last shoe box distribution. It was held at a church that had survived in a community where previous churches failed, and Stephanie asked the pastor why it was successful.
“He told me that they survived because they showed love to people," she said. "I was expecting some thought-out strategy or big plan, but they just showed love. It truly blew me away. Maybe everything I do, if done in love, will make a big impact.”
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21, NIV).
Saturday, May 19, 2012
If you don't yet follow us, join us!! On our FB page, you will find area events for the whole Southern Oregon area, stories from our area, plus of course notice of savings, updates from OCC nationwide, impact stories, and all you have come to expect on the Klamath FB page.
Posted by lambofHisflock at 11:51 AM
Friday, May 18, 2012
Looking back now, Tran Xuan Hoa is amazed that a small shoe box could have transformed his life forever. That’s because, 15 years ago, Hoa was a sad kid with very little hope, living alone on the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam. His family never had enough money and there was no future for him in the remote mountain village where he grew up.
“At age eleven, I dropped out of school after finishing grade five, due to extreme poverty and having to walk nine kilometers to school every day,” he remembers. “It seemed that I would never have any dream for the future.” Because of their desperate situation, Hoa’s parents let him go to Hanoi, hoping he could find work, never imagining he would end up a street kid. Aimless and alone, Hoa heard about the shelters run by Samaritan’s Purse.
And, thanks to the support of friends like you, he was able to find a new home with other street children where he was safe and cared for. Two months later, Hoa became one of the first children in Vietnam to receive a Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoe box. His eyes opened wide as he pulled out the flute that was packed inside. Who would have guessed that he knew how to play a flute? “The shoe box was small, but its power changed my life forever,” he smiles.
When Hoa opened his Operation Christmas Child shoe box, he opened up so much more than a box full of gifts. His shoe box opened up more opportunities through Samaritan’s Purse for Hoa and his brothers to finish school and, putting their education to use, support their family.
Hoa now serves as a Project Officer with Samaritan’s Purse Vietnam where he oversees the northern mountain region where he was born! He is married to Huyen and they have a two-year-old son called Noah.
As a child, Hoa didn’t dare to dream. But now, thanks to friends like you, he is giving hope to other impoverished kids… And it all started with an Operation Christmas Child shoe box, given to a wide-eyed mountain child.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Please join us in prayer for a safe journey, for every detail of this trip, and especially for the children soon to receive these shoeboxes and the gospel of Christ. May God go before them and with them as they share the love of Christ one shoebox at a time.
Posted by lambofHisflock at 6:18 PM
Monday, May 14, 2012
Sometimes it can feel like that one shoebox, such a simple thing, can't begin to make a difference. Oh but it DOES!!! That one simple shoebox goes to a child! A child who through the box experiences joy in the receiving of gifts. Who experiences loves because YOU CARED. And learns through the gospel message received that GOD CARES TOO!!
That one simple gift can be a seed planted... can be the beginning of faith for one child... who can be the start of something MUCH bigger. That one drop can have a ripple effect. Many times families come to Christ as well. And even the whole community.
But who are we to dismiss even ONE. For we know God rejoices over that one precious child. Jesus would have died even just for them!! Never underestimate the power of a single shoebox.
But know something NEAT????? This year, Samaritan's Purse will see the 100 millionth shoebox packed and distributed! 100 million children reached in this simple way with the gospel message and the love of Christ.
Yes, there IS an ocean out there.... an ocean of lost and hurting children. You can't save them all. But, one by one by one... GOD CAN.. and He uses us... and the power of a simple gift.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
I found this crown idea while poking around on pinterest.. and so HAD to check it out!
Isn't it lovely???
This crown is made with fabric stiffener (or mod podge) paint and lace... that is IT. So the costs should be low. The tutorial is at http://www.joyfolieblog.com/2011/09/diy-wednesday-lace-crowns.html
Aren't they lovely! I think it will work for the shoeboxes. I am not sure how sturdy they would be.. but oh my goodness are they cute! And I am thinking if packed properly might hold up. Oh I do hope so!
I think they are DARLING!!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I picked up finger puppets and some pencil cases all at just 30 cents each! These items are MARKED at 50% off but clearly some are more, because they came up at 40 cents each, then with 25% off, they came down to 30 cents a piece.
Also worth noting that they have some VERY cute puppets clearanced down to 2.50 each. Super cute and super soft, they may be a good addition to your boxes.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
We know that God works when we pray.... So here are some prayer requests... please pray as you are lead....
Leadership- We pray for the leadership in OCC throughout the nation and world… that they would keep their eyes on Jesus. That God would protect them and pour out His blessings and wisdom upon them as they seek to do His Work.
OCC locally –
-We pray for wisdom for the local team of volunteers, that they would do the work prepared for them, according to God’s calling
- We pray for more volunteers to help us do the work for OCC, sharing about OCC, and helping churches and organizations as they participate. Specifically, we pray the God would lift up a Media Volunteer.
- We praise God for the continuing partnership of churches. In 2011, almost 68,000 churches and church groups participated in OCC worldwide. We ask for the growth of this ministry to new churches in 2012.
-We pray for the churches and organizations involved, that they would have the energy, wisdom, and vision to carry forth the program according to God’s plan for their group
-We pray for the individuals who will pack shoeboxes this year. That God would guide their purchases, for the specific child who will receive a box… and that God would bless them richly.
-We pray for upcoming events where OCC will be present- Praise in the Park, and 3rd Thursdays, that the information about Operation Christmas Child would go out, and with it an opportunity for others to see what God is doing.
-We pray for those still traveling to do distributions, that God would protect them, guide them, and bless them as they show His love to these children and communities around the world.
-We pray for the pastors and Christian leaders at the distribution sites, that they would be good shepherds to these families, for their protection and provision.
Children and Families-
-We pray for the children who have yet to hear the gospel and receive a shoebox, that God would soften their hearts and prepare them for the Good News they will soon hear.
-We pray that each child would receive the right box for them… filled with items that would meet needs physical and emotional and spiritual, and that they would meet with God and feel His love through this gift.
-We pray for the children who have heard the good news, that the seed would go deep and would produce true faith. That this experience would not be a one day event but be the beginning of a lifelong walk with God.
-We pray for the families and communities. That the light of Christ would go forth!
Philippines- We pray specifically for the work God is doing in the Philippines! (So many of our shoeboxes have gone there.) We pray for each child who received a shoebox from Klamath Area… that the love of Christ who go forth boldly through these simple gifts. There is much need in this nation, where so many are hurting and poor, and so many do not know the love of the Savior. Lord we thank you for the work you are doing through these shoeboxes. For the miracles You have wrought and for the salvation brought! We thank you for the work of Perry as she leads OCC in the region containing the Philippines and Indonesia. We ask that you would guide her and her volunteers to do Your Will.
Latvia- We also lift up Latvia, who a little over a year ago graduated their first class from the discipleship training course, the Great Adventure. We praise you for the Good News going forth in a nation that not so long ago banned You, under Soviet control. We praise you that as they have gained freedom as a nation, many are gaining true freedom in Christ.
We praise God that under His guidance and through His provision, this year, God willing, the 100 millionth shoebox will be collected and distributed!!!!!!
Posted by lambofHisflock at 11:54 AM
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
More “God-incidences” in Fiji By Jessica On May 1, 2012 ·Students in Fiji, Source: Fiji Times Online I love how someone coined the term God-incidences to describe situations in which children receive exactly the gift they need/want inside their shoe boxes. It truly is God’s hand at work; much more than a mere coincidence.
While helpers of Operation Christmas Child are going to great lengths to ensure kids in Fiji feel special at Christmas, God is using the project to show the extraordinary lengths He goes to, to make Himself relevant to children, who have often never heard of Him.
One such trek took local indigenous church partners back and forth over a river 14 times, carrying the shoe boxes on horse-back, for children who would otherwise not see any gits for Christmas. Tears and emotions flowed freely as children received gifts, with one child from the island of Rotuma shouting with joy as he held his first Christmas gift. The parents at various distribution locations wept openly as their children received gifts – lots of them happy that large amounts of stationery were provided for their children’s school needs.
In one instance a child had recently given away his sandals to a friend who couldn’t afford any. The following week he came to the distribution day and was given a box. To his surprise he got a brand new pair of sandals that fitted him perfectly. He told the pastor what he did the previous week and how God had given him a new pair of sandals! Some of the children have already started attending Sunday school and church services because of this testimony.
Another girl wanted shoes for Christmas but her father was in prison and couldn’t buy her any. When she was given the gift box, she opened it saw a pair of shoes…that also were a perfect fit! Tears flowed as she wore the shoes and nearly forgot about other contents in the box. She was told by the pastor that somebody loved her so gave her this gift – she went on to tell her friends, “Jesus gave me new shoes!”
Rev. Emmanuel Reuben who coordinated the first part of the Western Division said it was the first time he had seen at least 12 different denominations come together. Lots of crusades and conferences take place, but Operation Christmas Child has brought them all together as one body in unity. Together they have distributed gifts in churches, community halls, village playgrounds, school grounds and under trees. Source: OCC Australia