Last year was the first time my husband and I participated in "Operation Christmas Child" a ministry of Samaritan's Purse which has given to over 124 million children since 1993! We had great fun doing it but the best part is that the gospel is presented to each child as well as discipleship classes that are taught at each of their levels. The shoebox, filled with something wonderful for the child, is a great illustration to the children of God's love for them. That someone they don't know would send them a gift speaks volumes to them and often opens their heart to receive the gospel message like this girl from Moldova:
"In the former Soviet republic of Moldova, a teenaged Marina started a fire every morning to prepare food for her blind and bedridden grandmother. In the afternoon, she cut firewood, brought in water, and cleaned the house before doing her homework. In the throes of this schedule, she said, 'I do a man's and a woman's work in my grandmother's home.'
One day Marina was invited to an Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution where she could be a kid for a little while. 'It was overwhelming to receive the present,' she said. Inside her shoebox she found a hat, scarf, and gloves as well as a notebook, toys, and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Her favorite was the hat and scarf set. The box also contained a letter that said, 'Jesus loves you.'
Shortly after she received the shoebox gift, a friend invited Marina to church. At first she couldn't comprehend anything the preacher said, but after a while Marina understood and accepted Jesus in her heart.
'I have peace in my heart since becoming a Christian,' she said. 'Knowing God makes me happy.'
Marina's father is paralyzed and lives in another part of Moldova. After her mother passed away two years ago, Marina lived alone with her grandmother until she also died in April. Now a local church is her family. Recently Marina helped hand out shoeboxes at an Operation Christmas Child distribution. She said, 'I never in my life had the opportunity to give presents to children, but today felt special.' Tears came, not due to her hard circumstances, but because this was the first time she had the privilege of giving a gift."
Christmas is a gift giving season, a reminder of the greatest gift ever given, and what better way to celebrate than to give to someone who does not know the love of Jesus! We paid the $7 shipping fee online and were able to track our package to Cambodia!
It was a privilege and a joy to do it again this year; would you consider joining us its still not too late! National collection week is November 16 - 23; if you live near me and would like a box just let me know and I can get you one! Below is a video on how to pack your shoebox and a few other fun bits of information!
Here is the official website which can answer any questions you may as well as testimonies and tips: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
This morning in church my pastor preached on the blessings of trials, using the life of Joseph as an example. Of course most of us have not had to endure the depth of a trial as Joseph but no trial is free from sorrow. If the choice were left to us most of us would choose to live a trial free life but then our life - our gold bar you might say - would never be purified and the very trial God allows us to go through often yields results we never would have thought we could accomplish.
I am sure Eliza Edmunds Hewitt would have agreed. WHO? As often the case we are probably more familiar with her work than with this amazing lady herself. Below I have copied her story from Christianity.com and at the close I wrote out the words of her hymn. I hope it is a blessing and will be encouragement to anyone going through a hard time!
Eliza was born on this day, June 28, 1851 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Educated in the local school system, she graduated as valedictorian of the Girl's Normal School that she attended. She became a teacher in the public schools of her city.
But then came misery. Her career screeched to a halt when she was forced to bed with a painful spinal problem. (One of her descendants has contacted us and said her debilitating condition was caused by an reckless student striking her with a piece of slate.) Lying in bed, she could have been bitter. Instead, she studied English literature and began to sing and write:
Sing the wondrous love of Jesus; sing his mercy and his grace.
In the mansions bright and blessed he'll prepare for us a place.
Some of her lines came into the hands of Professor John R. Sweney. He wrote her asking for more, and set a few of her songs to music, including one of the better known: "Will there be any Stars in My Crown?" He and William J. Kirkpatrick published her first hymns.
We remember Eliza Hewitt today because of those hymns. Had she never been bed-ridden, she might not have written them. Among the best known are, "Give Me Thy Heart, Says the Father Above," "When We All Get to Heaven," "Sunshine in My Soul," "Will there be any Stars in My Crown?" and "More About Jesus Would I Know."
Later Eliza's well-being improved, although she suffered re-occurrences for the rest of her life. Despite her health problems, she was deeply interested in Sunday school work, and superintended a Sunday school for the Northern Home for Friendless Children. This was followed by similar work in the Calvin Presbyterian Church. At one point, she had a class of 200!
Eliza died in 1920
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I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.