Monday, November 15, 2010

would you join me?

It begins today.

The third week of November.

The final week before Thanksgiving
(bringing with it the beginning of the holiday season).

National Collection Week 
for Operation Christmas Child

Beginning today, more than 3000 locations around the country will be collecting shoe boxes for the next week.  I have no idea how many volunteers that number represents, but I can guess that the number is quite large.  Between now and next Monday, these volunteers will have the opportunity to meet thousands of people who have packed a shoebox.

They will meet ladies who have a passion for this ministry and spend months each year planning and preparing shoeboxes.  I know two women from another local church who do just that ... they transform a garage into a storage place for shoeboxes and then hunt for any and every way they can fill that garage each year.  God is blessing their efforts and each year their church gets more involved and packs more boxes than the year before.

They will also meet children who have packed boxes with their school or their Sunday School class.  Children who are excited about what they have done and who want to have the opportunity to tell about their experience.

They will meet families who want their children to know that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Or maybe, they will meet a mother who has packed special needs boxes because she knows first hand exactly what should go into a box for a special needs child.

And, if these volunteers are anything like me, they will be inspired and encouraged by the stories they hear from those they come in contact with this week.

The stories and motives behind each box that will enter our relay center and others just like it across the country this week are as diverse and special as the people who bring in those boxes.  And, in truth, the opportunities to share the Gospel through a shoe box begins today, in those relay and collection centers, where we never know who might come in needing to hear about the love of God. 

So, would you pray with me this week? 

Pray for the thousands of volunteers who will be working this week ... for safety and energy and most of all, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as we have the opportunity to meet and talk with thousands of people who are being the hands and feet of Jesus and helping to share the Gospel with a lost and dying world. 

Pray for a hedge of protection around these volunteers.  Our adversary does not like what is being done through this ministry. 

The Light of the Gospel is penetrating dark places and hearts that have belonged to him. 

Churches are gaining greater unity as they work together in serving the Lord. 

Lives are being transformed.

This may sound melodramatic, but I don't think it is overstated.

For where two or three are gathered together in my
 name, there am I in the midst of them. 
Matthew 18:20

There will be thousands of drop-off locations open this week with their two or three gathered in the name of Jesus and He will be there in each one of those locations and His power will be displayed across this nation. 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season
 we shall reap, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:9

I believe with all my heart that God is working through the ministry of Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan's Purse and I am so thankful that He has allowed me to be a part of this ministry.


Donna said...

What a wonderful ministry! I'm sure it is a huge blessing to many!

Have a great day, Jennifer!

Greg and Donna said...

Am greatly looking forward to Wed. I've been waiting for this week since last year when I read about your involvement!