One sunny afternoon in October, the girls from the House of Hope, a volunteer, and I stormed the Dollar Tree, buying toys, hats, and other "objects of joy" (as one of the girls called them) to send to children in other countries for Christmas. Honestly, while we were at the Dollar Tree, I expected the girls to ask to also buy things for themselves, but it was as if the thought never crossed their minds. We then headed back to the House to pack the items in boxes to send off to the organization Samaritan's Purse. It was wonderful to see the girls filled with joy at just the thought of the kids who would be getting the boxes. As one of the girls reflected,
"When I found out we were doing Operation Christmas Child, I was excited because it's an opportunity to bless kids in other countries; even though it doesn't seem like a lot to us, it means the world to them and may be the only Christmas present they ever get."
A few weeks later, some of the girls and I ended up going to a church that was the Marshall collection point for the boxes the day that they were shipping them out, and I was moved by the girls' passionate prayers as they and the rest of the congregation laid hands on the crates of shoeboxes and prayed for the children who would receive them. A couple of days ago, I received an e-mail saying that the boxes we packed were sent to kids in India (click here to see a short video of OCC's work in India), and the girls' enthusiasm for the project was reignited as they reminisced about choosing gifts for the boxes. It was a blessing to give the girls an opportunity to realize how much they have to share and how much fun it is to share it.
"This was a very amazing experience that I have never done before. I was so excited when we were putting the boxes together knowing that someone out there needs it. I would do this again just to show how much Jesus loves and cares about them."