Monday, January 5, 2015

Operation Christmas Child

I was not expecting the experience I went through when I went to Dallas with First Baptist in Minden to be a volunteer with Operation Christmas Child at the beginning of December. This distribution center handled the Christmas boxes from the Southern States as well as Texas.  When we arrived they take you through orientation and training first, then you get busy. We worked six hours on our shift and took one ten minute break. Your so involved with what your doing that the time passed quickly and when it was over you don't want to stop. Each line has a team on each side of the work station. There are two at the head who pull a Christmas box and open it. They look for any money to be taken out. If they find cash or check it is put in the locked bank box.
Did you know that if cash of any form is found when they arrive in a village, that the children will not get a Christmas box? Not one child in that village! Its so important not to add any american money.
Then they sit the box on top of the shelve that stretches across the stand. The next step is the two inspectors on each side who take a box off the shelve and go through it looking for the items that can not go. I was one of the inspectors. I thought this is gonna be easy. Reminded me of the old Lucille Ball show where her and Ethel work in the candy factory and then the conveyor belt speeds up and they have to eat the candy.  Trust me, it did speed up and your pulling boxes, taking out items, adding items as fast as you can. The next step is the taper on each side. They tape the box shut and pass on to the next two on each side who pack the boxes into hugh shipping boxes. All boxes are the same size and there are at least 14 Christmas shoe-boxes in each big box. Then the next two, tape the boxes shut and sit on a long conveyor belt that is then put on pallets and then moved to trucks that take them to airplanes or ships. This years Christmas boxes went to Togo, Africa.   Togo is 70 % Voodoo and devil worshipers, 20 % Christian, and 10 % Muslim. There are many things that cannot be shipped in the Christmas boxes, but the one thing that broke my heart is that we have been told wrong all these years about how we could not send Bibles. We were wrong as a parish here in Louisiana. Please add Bibles. God choose that box, that child to receive a bible for a reason. They may never read it, understand the language or know how to read. But who are we to keep the Bible out when God wanted that child to receive it? Our shift that day shipped over 240,000 boxes to Children. I am still excited and cant wait to help next year.
Things that CAN NOT be sent in a Christmas shoe-box:

  • Money
  • Chocolate of any kind except Tootsie rolls
  • Liquid of any kind such as nail polish, perfumes, kids drinks, liquid soap, bath gels,shampoo, lotions
  • No bottled glue, only glue sticks or tape
  • No war toys like soldiers , knives or play guns
  • No chips, fruit, food, crackers, kool-aid, sugar, nuts, raisins, energy or health bars
  • breakable items or aerosols
  • vitamins or medicines

Things that CAN be sent

  • Bibles
  • Photos, cards, letters
  • sewing items for girls and tools for boys
  • bar soap, tooth brushes, tube toothpaste, combs, hair brushes, ribbons, barrettes
  • sizzors, colors, pencils, paper, solar calculators, books 
  • small toys...large ones take the whole box leaving no room for other items
  • gloves, socks., flip flops, tea shirts, sunglasses, jewelry
  • Dolls, jacks, jump ropes, cards, toy animals
Operation Christmas child is not only for Christmas. It is for times after a disaster or flood. For children going through war times. It is not about being white, black, red. It is about giving, helping , and doing what God commanded of us.  It is not only for foreign country's, but here in the United States of America.  In the past, I just filled a box, took it to church with the shipping check attached, not really thanking twice. This was a real eye opener. All our children in this land of what is suppose to be free, have everything given to them. A toy is soon forgotten after they open a gift, but a child who has never in their entire life had just one toy to call their own, will cherish and take care of it way longer than our children will do.   I am thankful that I was able to share in this experience and my prayer is that God will show me how to use what he has shown me.

The next day our group attended Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas where we had lunch fit for a king and saw "The Gift of Christmas" featuring a live orchestra and 500 choir members. There was a living nativity with camels and other animals, Kings, and beautiful flying Angels. It was breath taking and a wonderful way to end our trip.



6 comments:

  1. I was of the understanding that Operation Christmas Child was a Christian organization and one of its purposes is to bring the gospel to children. My kids used to go to a Christian school and that is where I learned about it.

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    1. Mormon....lol! No , I am a Christian, why would you ask that? You are right about it being a Christian organization all over the world.
      Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.

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  2. Oh, my! All this time I thought you were a Mormon. I have been so careful with my comments! I guess it was knowing your love for Jesus and geneology. Mormon's are really into geneology and they baptize by-proxy, meaning they baptize themselves in case someone didn't get it done. It ensures a way into heaven. It is seriously weird. It is one of the reasons I try my best to avoid their site.
    Well, now that I know you are not a Mormon.... lol.

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    1. lol! I am a child of God. Do you mind if I ask you if you are a believer?
      My love of Genealogy started over twenty five years ago when I was trying to research who in my husbands family may have had Burgers Disease, which he was diagnosed with in the early eighty's but has outlived all the odds. I fell in love with it as a hobby and the rest is history to speak. you can get to my genealogy here...
      www.thebranchesonourtree.blogspot.com

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  3. I became a Christian when I was 16. A guy in the locker right beside me that started witnessing to me and I was drawn in. I went to church regularly until my husband and I separated. It was at that time that everyone in my home church stopped talking to me. I would walk by them at my kid's school (as I said it was a Christian school) and they would not even look at me. To this day I really don't know what I did that was considered "bad" but they made it clear that I had sin in my life. I was heartbroken. I stopped going to church and my faith ebbed greatly. It took me years to feel close to God again. I know go to a Quaker church but I work Sundays so don't get to go often. I feel closer to God than ever but I also have more questions but I know that I am not a disappointment to Him. My faith has also changed in that I am able to listen to others and what they believe. One of my good blogging friends is a beautiful Muslim woman. Though I don't understand I trust that God does.

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    1. What a testimony. Thank you for sharing! I am sorry you went through that and it was Nothing you did. God knew that! He also knows whats in your heart and that you found your way back. Praying for good things in your life, in his name.
      Thank you....hugs!

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