Saturday, September 28, 2013

Shoeboxes ~ Instruments of God

“We are but the instruments or assistants, by whom God works.” -Martin Luther
I love this reality. Such a simple thing, packing a shoebox. And yet, over and over again I read stories about the amazing things God is doing through these simple gifts. I am awestruck and so I share a few with you.....

MacedoniaAt our Celebration meeting there was a girl, age 21, that I saw for a first time. She came along with a pastor from Veles. We talked about the project, and a pastor’s wife mentioned that they were distributing gifts this year to street children in Skopje. After the meeting the girl came to me and asked: “Is this the organization that gives gifts to children, even in the orphnage in Skopje?” I answered “yes” and she told me that 7 years ago, she lived in the orphanage and received a gift there, as well as correspondence course and a booklet. She received Chrisst as her savior, and, when she was 18, she had to leave the orphanage and went to live with relatives in Veles. She found a church there, and later, when she was 19, went for a year in Bible school in Serbia. I introduced her to Rule, pastor’s wife that was distributing the boxes in the orphanage at that time, and it was a wonderful meeting.

Dominican Republic:  “I have three little brothers and my parents died in an accident and there was a Pastor who came to invite us to his church where they would give us some gifts. But as my youngest brother was sick, the lady who takes care of us said that we wouldn’t go because of my little brother’s illness; there was nobody else to take care of us if we went. I went outside and sat in front of the house crying, and suddenly I saw someone approaching the home and bringing some gifts. That made cry again but this time of happiness because God sent that person to us with the OCC gifts and also with the book the Greatest Gift. Later they invited us to study at their Bible club and the lady who takes care of us also goes with us to church. Although we don’t have our mom and dad anymore we feel good because through those gifts we got to meet God Who never leaves us and also we have a family at church and many other children there whom we can call brothers, now we are happy.” Amauras Vargas, 12 yrs old 

Tajikistan: Madina, “River Of Life” church member
We took the OCC presents to the children in the Cancer Department of City Hopsital, Dushanbe. We have had the wonderful opportunity to tell those children about Jesus and to give them gifts. So much joy, and the hope returned to them – someone remembers us, someone cares…After this we have got the opportunity to pray for them. One girl from Kulob, 13 years old, has lost her sight and hearing because of cancer, and she was swollen. After some days we came back to visit her – and what a miracle! The hearing was restored, she was able to read, and swollenness disappeared.

Philippines: Hannah Ruth, is a lovely two-year old girl. I spotter her cheerfully cuddling her new baby doll from the shoebox. Then her mother told me that one day, along the street, Hannah found a ragged doll with a broken head in a garbage bag. She brought it home and used to place it beside her when she sleeps. And how happy she was when she received a brand new baby doll that just looks like the same with her old doll. Her whole family was amazed at how God answered that little desire of Hannah's heart. With this incident, they were reminded once again that truly God answers prayers. God can hear every word, thought, and desire. Even the slightest whisper of a child, He can decipher.

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