Monday, March 22, 2010

it is starting early this year

If you have been reading my blog for very long, you may already know of one ministry that I am passionate about.  If not, you can read a little of the story here and a little more of the story here or here.  Some of you probably already know what I am talking about and if so, you know that I am getting started early this year ... at least, I am talking about it earlier than usual, anyway.

The ministry is, of course, Operation Christmas Child.

Tonight, our area team had our first meeting of 2010 and let me just tell you that I am pumped and ready to go.  The regional director was here from Atlanta and he shared pictures from a recent distribution in Ecuador.  The pictures were amazing ... and not just because of the joy of seeing a child open his or her gift ... and knowing that it is possibly the first gift they have ever been given.

I was struck convicted, as I always am when I see these kinds of pictures, by my own lack of gratitude for the life that I lead.  Just today, I was complaining about ....  Well, let's be honest, it doesn't really matter what I chose to gripe about, what matters is that I had the nerve to complain about anything.

I would like to tell you that I won't need this reminder again, but you wouldn't believe me anymore than I would believe myself.

Instead, I plan to begin now praying in earnest for this ministry.  There are still distributions taking place, even as the teams are gearing up for 2010.   These teams need God's leadership and direction as they work.

I remember one of the points from the Experiencing God study I did many years ago talked about being aware of the places where God is already working and joining Him there. 

I believe with all my heart that God is working through Operation Christmas Child and I don't want to sit on the sidelines and miss an opportunity to join Him.  I want God to lead me in how He wants me to serve.

Because I know that some of you are also passionate about this ministry, I am going to ask you to pray.  Maybe God is leading you to get more involved.  Maybe He wants you to lead your church in getting started (or more involved) with the ministry.  Maybe He wants you to volunteer year-round.  Maybe He wants you to ...?

I can't even begin to imagine all the possibilites of how God can use you, but I would love to hear from you about how He leads.  I'd also love to help you get any information you might need to get started.  Even if you don't live near me, I still may be able to point you in the right direction.

God has given us an amazing opportunity to participate in His mission of taking the Gospel to a lost and dying world ... and it begins with a simple shoebox.


Greg and Donna said...

I've already started "collecting" items for our boxes. This is such a great ministry and a wonderful way for children to be involved in a positive, useful way. This is a double blessing, for the child who receives the gift and for the child who chooses and packs this gift.

Rie said...

Oh, you hit a nerve when you wrote, "What matters is that I had the nerve to complain about anything."