Friday, November 22, 2013

Sending Hope and Joy and Love to a Child ~ Operation Christmas Child

A child, living, sleeping, eating in a dump. Digging each day for items to use or sell for scrap. This is the reality for many children around the world. We want to run in and rescue them all. We can't. But we can take a life of grey and shades of brown, and bring in the color of hope. The Gospel Message brings that hope and goes to the children who receive the boxes.

I love one of the stories shared by Mary Damron about one of these children. 

MARY DAMRON -- Shoebox Corner -- It sad to say but many many children live on garbage dumps around the world. Even eating the rotten food that others have thrown out. Our children could never imagine that everything they have is someone else's trash. On a dump in Panama, one little 5 yr old girl shied away from all of us. She was covered in filth, hair matted and had a horrible smell. As she sat and opened her box, she carefully laid everything on the lid, trying not to get anything dirty. She suddenly squealed with joy as she had found a treasure. A plastic necklace that cost about a dollar. She put the necklace on and began to press it to her neck. Then she climb up onto an old rusty chair so everyone could see her and started blowing kisses. I know she felt like a little princess. In that moment you can understand the power of a simple shoebox. It doesn't change the circumstances for the children but it changes how they feel about themselves. For the first time in many of their lives, they feel special. PLEASE, PLEASE, Don't feel guilty because of what you and your family have. Just be grateful and share your blessings with others.

 A child laying hurting in a hospital. We can send joy. The stuffed animal the child takes into their arms and hugs. The first toy car a boy has ever had to zoom across the bed. If you have never done so, take some time to watch cups of joy videos or the ones shared here.... over and over you will see such moments of joy. 

And love.. ah.. love. The child who opens that box will feel our love... the love of someone they never met nor likely will, but who cares. And more the love of a Savior who orchestrated the details of a box so that something within speaks to the heart of a child and says I see you, I know you, and I love you. I am always amazed at the stories of the shoeboxes.... click the Impact Stories Tab above to read about what God is doing.

A former blog of a lovely woman who went on a distribution, wrote this last year:
Let’s say that I’m someone you don’t know in the Unites States, and I have lots of opportunities to do charitable things around the holidays.  What would you say to me – why should I pack an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox?

Edison: You should definitely pack a shoebox.  This is something that goes beyond the toys, beyond the candy, beyond the booklet [The Greatest Journey discipleship program booklet] – this is something that goes straight to the hearts of children.  It’s a box full of love, full of hope that you bring into the country.  When you grow up in an environment like this, you feel unloved.  You wonder, “Will God really care about me?  Look where I live!  I don’t have anything: I don’t have food, electricity, water or health care, my school isn’t good…” But when you bring in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, the whole thing changes and the child starts to see things differently.  It’s like a huge sign in the middle of the desert telling them there’s water here, and it’s the water of the love of God.  The water of the hope that Jesus can give to the hearts of people.  I think that’s the whole reason behind packing an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

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