Saturday, November 16, 2013

Operation Christmas Child

I have always loved Samaritan's Purse and everything that they stand for. They are a ministry that helps and gives to those in need in the name of Jesus.  Often times when there are natural disasters, they are some of the first ones on scene to give supplies or help, but while meeting those physical needs are also the ones ministering and sharing the gospel. Daniel and I spent a week in New Orleans with Samaritan's Purse a year after hurricane Katrina. (Fun fact, that was when I guess you could say our love "blossomed"... Shortly after we got back in town our relationship status changed to officially dating.) 

Another ministry they do at Christmas time is called "Operation Christmas Child" where people are asked to fill a shoebox with items for kids in need around the world. OCC has always been near and dear to my heart, but has recently become even more important to me so that we can show the boys how to give to other children at Christmas time.

I brought home our shoebox from church a few weeks ago, and Leeland was very curious about it, mostly because he likes playing with boxes. We started to explain that we would fill it with toys and hygiene items for another kid, and to my surprise he did NOT like that idea. He wanted toys for himself and not to give to other kids. I was a little shocked and saddened by his initial reaction, but after more thought, I guess I should've expected it. It's human nature really-- to want want want, but only for yourself. We're all selfish! It's Christ who changes and transforms our hearts and minds to want to help others. 

.... Needless to say, we had several conversations about the box before he began to come around.  The fact that he wasn't so keen on the idea to begin with is just more the reason to participate to show him how to give....
I'm happy to report that today he was very excited to help me shop for the shoebox, and was even quite opinionated about what the shoebox needed. We chose to shop for a little girl in the age range of 2-4, and this is what we came up with--
Wooden blocks, wooden lacing cards, a coloring book with crayons, teddy bear, bar soap, rubber duck with wash cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste set, 2 pairs of socks, and some underwear. (And we tossed in one of our Christmas cards with a family photo of us.)

We ended up with a very full box we had to tie closed. 
So proud of our Leeland and all of the help he provided.  I look forward to packing many more Operation Christmas Child boxes as a family in the future. 

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