Operation Christmas Child

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Chris and I have done Operation Christmas Child for the past couple years.  We fill up a couple shoeboxes and drop them off at the local church.  My women’s group did it this past year.  Now that we have traveled to a place that these boxes are sent to and seeing how little these people actually have, I am even more motivated to work closely with this organization.  The collection of boxes begins pretty early, which is why I am sure a lot of people aren’t thinking about it.  FYI: This year’s collection is Nov 17-24.

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This past December, I had the amazing experience of going to JFK airport and watching the packing of boxes into a plane headed for the Philippines.  The speaker for this intimate event was none other than CEO of Samaritan’s Purse: Franklin Graham (Billy Graham’s son).  Little known fact: Franklin Graham went to the Stony Brook School right here on Long Island.  I got to hear him speak a message of hope for the people of the Philippines.  He preached on John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” We have all that heard that verse.  It’s one of those famous ones that even non-Christians know about.  But how many times have we actually reflected on it?

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On my drive home from JFK, I did just that.  As you may know, I have been wanting to be a mother since forever.  It’s a dream of mine to start a family.  This ride home I kept thinking:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”

I love a baby that I don’t even have yet.  Many of my thoughts are consumed with babies, pregnancy, strollers, breast feeding, potty training, raising a toddler, how will I deal with bullying, what if my kid is bullied, what if my kid is the selfish, how do you teach sharing and love….

Then all of a sudden God had me thinking…. you see how much you want this baby and how much you love him already….. I had ONE son.  A perfect one.

God knew what was going to happen to him…. watch him being tormented and humiliated, beaten and crucified.  As a parent, how could you send your child into a situation where you know that would happen?

God loves us THAT MUCH that He would let that happen to His ONE AND ONLY SON.

His one and only son.

I think if I knew that I was only going to be able to have one son I wouldn’t let him leave the house.  He’d be covered in bubble wrap.  No bumps or bruises on that kid.

But God didn’t bubble wrap him.

He sent him into this tired and weary world…. to die for US!

He died for you, he died for me, he died for the people in the Philippines, he died for mentally ill, he died for the people who don’t even know him.

It just landed on my heart pretty hard that day.

Every time I have one of these moments, I ask myself: how is this going to change the way I live?

God has put this on my heart, but now what?

I have received His message.  Now it is time to respond.

For me that is looking like volunteering to lead youth group, sponsoring children though Compassion International and Casa Shalom, supporting Nathan Lee who is a musician who ministers to prisoners and Bowery Mission that serves that homeless of NYC, and leading women in the church.

It is not just about volunteering and giving money: it is about how you live and love on a daily basis while at work and in your own family.

Is there a way that you are showing/telling people that Jesus died for THEM?

 

 

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The plane is loaded up with boxes for the people of the Philippines and is preparing to back out of the hanger.

photo (11)A few of us got the pilots together and prayed with them before they boarded the plane.

 

 

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