Gifts of HopeSamaritan's Purse UK's Chris Blackham reports from the second day of a team trip to Liberia. "So Day Two starts with a 6.00am drive to the airport for our helicopter ride up to Sannequellie City, Nimba County. Bizarrely this little backwater was the location in 1959 of the original signing for the Organization of the African Union between Liberia, Guinea and Ghana. Strange how we’ve come full circle, from a time of so much hope and expectation, through two decades of bloody civil war, and back around to bringing gifts of hope to a future generation…
"Those of you that have had the privilege of witnessing an OCC distribution in the developing world will know what the words “Organised Chaos” mean. Picture over a hundred children, a huge pile of presents and a handful of adults tasked with holding them back! The eagerness on the children’s faces, as they realise that someone thousands of miles away has prayed and packed a box full of personal gifts for them, is overwhelming. These are kids who are lucky to have a roof over their heads, fortunate if they know where their next meal is coming from, blessed if they have parents to care for and nurture them to adulthood.
"So after a short Gospel presentation and a very long line of handing out boxes, the kids are finally let loose on them after a rousing chorus of “Thank you Jesus!” And at that point all the chaos of distribution and stress of keeping the kids in line suddenly melts away. Smiles erupt on their faces as they open the gift that was sent especially for them. Screeches of glee bounce off the walls as they share their gifts and show each other their bounties. The joy on their faces is enough to melt even the hardest of hearts.
"Who’d have thought that a simple box could bring so much joy to a child? It’s not rocket science; it’s not development; but it is an amazingly powerful expression of God’s love for His children all around the world. I for one now know over 250 kids this evening who will be thanking God that their new friends from the UK blessed them with a gift today, and I’m pretty sure Jesus is also smiling when he sees this…"