Why Do I cry over stuff like this?
I have been waiting for over 14 years for this day. It all started the day I found my first red and green shoe box in a local store display. I quickly took one home and the tradition began in our home. Year after year my children and I have filled shoe boxes with toys, treats, school supplies and toiletries to then be delivered by Operation Christmas child to children all across the world.
Each year as our family has packed those boxes the desire in my heart has grown stronger and stronger to be part of the bigger picture of Operation Christmas Child. Particularly in the area of volunteering in one of their processing centers and to have an opportunity to deliver shoe boxes to children some place across the world.
This week half of this dream has been fulfilled. I am in Southern California where each year Operation Christmas Child opens a processing center to process thousands and thousands of shoe boxes preparing them to be shipped across the world
As I arrived into the the huge warehouse I had no idea how emotional it would be - Seeing the stacks and stacks of shoe boxes, the hundreds of volunteers and having the opportunity to be part of the preparations of placing shoe boxes into the big brown boxes that will safely protect these gifts as they are transported to the children.
As I stood hour after hour preparing boxes I could not help but think about these children - how for many of them this may be the first gift they ever receive, how this one shoe box would become their prized possession, that the items and letters placed in each box would reach exactly the right child's hands that God has intended it for, that many of these children would hear the gospel message for the first time in their lives.
During my time in the warehouse I heard stories, saw pictures and soaked in so much more about the ministry of Operation Christmas child, many times tearing up and wondering why do I cry over stuff like this? Is it the fact that I realize how these boxes are making a huge impact on children all across the world? Is it the thought that even though I may never meet these children I am part of the process to getting these boxes into their hands? Is it the thought that these boxes are possibly the first God encounter these children might experience? What ever it is I can't help but cry over stuff like this. I'm a mom who loves kids and wants them to have the opportunity to know Jesus like my kids do.
Someday I pray I will have the opportunity to finish the second have of my dream and actually hand a box to a child and be able to look them in the eyes and tell them that Jesus loves them.
For now I want to teach my children that Christmas is so much more then Santa, gifts, cookies and them. That it is about how we can serve and give our blessings away sharing Jesus with the world in ways like Operation Christmas Child by making a difference one box at a time.