I love to give gifts. It is my main love language. When I give someone a gift and see them light up and enjoy it, it give me joy. So it makes sense that I love to read the reports and watch the videos of children receiving their Operation Christmas Child gifts. It is amazing to hear how God uses these simple gifts to change the lives of children, their families and communities.
When I pack a shoebox I always include a letter and a picture. I have received letters back from people in India and Ghana. Currently I still have contact with a missionary in India. One of the orphans in his orphanage received one of my boxes. It was such a blessing to read his letter. The child sent a coloring page with the letter. Since then I have kept in contact with the missionary via email and on Facebook.
Yesterday I received this message from him : “Sister Esther, all our orphan children are everyday praying for you, praying for your family members and praying for your work. We ask God to protect you with His Angels and to fulfill your vision for Christ. Please don’t forget that you are spiritual mother to our orphan children because you have a great heart for children. God bless you!”
On days when I struggled to understand why I was not a mother yet I filled my time making shoeboxes and organizing food drives for our local children’s home. I knew that God gave me this desire to love children for a reason and that I shouldn’t waste it. To read this message from him and to see that he considers me to be a “spiritual mother” to the orphans there fills my heart with joy.
All the time and money I have spent working on Operation Christmas Child cannot compare to the joy I have received knowing that God is using my gifts to bring hope and love to children who have had none.
I challenge you to pack a shoe box this year. There is power in the simple gift. Not just to affect the children and their families but it will change you as well.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask me. I would love to help you become involved in Operation Christmas Child.