Wednesday, March 17, 2010

His Word Wednesday

Today has been a struggle to get this post done for several reasons.  One reason is because I really had to work today.  I have a part time job and most of the time it is relaxed and laid back and I am more of a warm body to answer the phone than an actual "go getter".  Today, the phone rang off the hook!  :-)  This is a good thing but it prevents me from updating the blog.  The other reason is because all I want to talk about is the Operation Christmas Child Conference I went to this past weekend!  I am fired up and would love to motivate all of you to get involved in this great ministry.

I was privy to numerous testimonies of shoe box encounters as well as stories from folks who got to distribute shoe boxes.  I kept thinking, "Seriously, it's just a shoe box...isn't it?!?"  The answer is no, no, no, no, no.  It is definitely NOT just a shoe box.  It's not just candy or socks or school supplies or whoopee cushions.  The shoe box, even if you get the nice plastic ones, will tear up and become useless.  The candy will be eaten.  The toys, school supplies, and toiletry items get used and eventually discarded.  There are only 2 things that remain: the memory of receiving the shoe box AND the Gospel that is shared with each recipient.  So, here is the question:  why give a shoe box anyway?

Answer:  because it brings peace.  Her name is Gabby and she is 5-6 years old.  She lives somewhere in Mexico and was invited to a Christmas Celebration that included receiving a shoe box.  Her whole family are death worshippers and have been for years.  Where they whorship the people dress in all black and some wear clothes with the skeleton on it.  Just black clothing with the white skeleton.  Gabby is afraid of the dark because she is beginning to see spirits and shadows lurking around the house.  She has slept with the light on for quite awhile.  Gabby and her family went to the Christmas Celebration and she received her shoe box.  As most of us know, she also received a booklet telling her about Jesus Christ and how He loves her and wants her to trust Him so she can be with Him for eternity.  At that celebration, the Gospel was explained to her, in her own language, by her own people.  That day, she accepted Christ and His gift of eternal life through His sacrifice.  She told the pastor of the church that, that night she slept with the lights off for the first time in a long time.  She said she was no longer afraid of the night.  She is filled with hope and now has peace!  All because of a simple shoe box and an invitation from a friend.

Answer:  because it gives answers.  I don't know his name but he is 9 years old and lives in Kiev, Ukraine.  On Christmas Eve he prayed for a Christmas present because he had never received one.  However, he didn't know who he was praying to, he was just praying to the ceiling hoping that someone would hear him.  The next day, he went to a shoe box distribution and received a shoe box gift.  His gift came with a booklet telling him about God's gift to him, Jesus Christ and how to have eternal his own language.  He told the pastor of the church that he was SO excited because now he knew Who he was praying to!

Answer:  because it lays the ground work for restoration.  Somewhere in the Dominican Republic is a young lady named Pamela.  She is 16 years old.  Her mom and dad were separated and on their way to divorce.  Pamela was invited to a shoe box distribution, received her shoe box gift, and a Gospel booklet in her own language.  She accepted God's free gift of salvation that day and went home to tell her mom about it.  She told the pastor of the church about her parents being separated so he visited them individually to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them.  They both accepted God's free gift of salvation and got back together.  Then the family shared Jesus Christ with Pamela's 2 brothers and they also accepted God's gift of salvation!  Now, Pamela's mom and dad are back together and the whole family is a part of the family of God, all because of a shoe box gift.

These are just 3 examples of why we pack shoe boxes each year.  Three examples of why we will pack shoe boxes again this year.  I haven't heard of a more simple or effective way to share the Gospel with the world.  I want to take as many folks with me to heaven as I can!  This year, Bubba and I will be putting together ONE MORE SHOE BOX than last year.  When I think about shoe boxes I am reminded of this:  "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neighter moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6: 19-21  I am also reminded that as Christians it is our job to:  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"  Matthew 28:19  I will take as many people with me as I can!

Would you like to be the one to bring Operation Christmas Child to your church or organization?  It is not difficult to organize and it's not time consuming either.  I have been doing it for many years now and of all the ministries that I have been involved in Operation Christmas Child has been one of the least demanding.  You can contact me through this blog, on Facebook, or you can head over to their website to learn more.  It would be my JOY to partner with you to bring this to your church or organization!  :-)  There are places where the whole town does this...I can dream, can't I?!?

Standing on His promises,
Mrs. Bubba

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