This past Sunday they distributed the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes at church. I was delighted, this is one ministry that, despite our current financial crisis, we're getting involved in.
We brought home three of the boxes available (this year Samaritan's Purse is providing the boxes, no more scrounging for leftover shoeboxes!). Andrew had a bunch of questions. Rather then answering them, after lunch we sat down at the computer and watched the 10-minute movie on the website. About halfway through, Andrew turned to me and asked why these children had no toys, and to my surprise I started sobbing. Every year this ministry shows me exactly how greedy I am. I kind of go through a personal crisis, like that scene in Schindler's List where Schindler starts removing his jewelry and saying how that watch could have bought another Jew. I look at all we have around us, yet we're still on the fast track to moremoremore. I feel deprived, when I have a roof and clean water and plenty to eat. I have the love of my family, and the love of Jesus. I am wealthy beyond my imagination.
So Andrew and I set off to fill the boxes. We've chosen two girls 5-8 years old, and one boy 9-12 years old. Andrew was very excited, choosing items to put in the boxes, from markers and Hot Wheels cars, to My Little Pony figures and Littlest Petshop pets. We bought puzzles, toothbrushes, and candy; bookmarks, Silly Putty, and bubble gum. And we've imagined the faces of the children when they open the boxes and enjoy the toys. We see their mouths reading the words of the books on Jesus. We pray they will feel the love from our family and from Jesus.
To me, this ministry embodies the truest meaning of Christmas. And we're so grateful to be a small part of it.