What fun I’ve had sorting through all the donations for our shoebox appeal for Operation Christmas child. It almost felt like Christmas for me as I opened up bags and saw balls, necklaces, colouring in things, stickers, dolls, cuddly toys, skipping ropes. I guess in some respect I was feeling a little of what a small child somewhere far off will feel when they open their shoebox in a few months’ time. How amazing to be part of something that makes such an impact in someone else’s life.
At Kidz church each week this term we have been watching short DVD clips of children around the world opening their shoebox and the absolute joy and happiness it brings them. And I’m not talking about the ‘exciting’ things in the box, like the ball or the skipping rope. I’m talking about the everyday things like the soap, hairbrush, undies, toothbrush, pencils.
We watched a clip of a young lady who remembers as a child growing up in an orphanage and so desperately wanting her own hair clips. She recalls opening her shoebox to discover a whole packet of pretty, yellow hair clips and being so excited that she put them all in her hair at once. Hair clips! With a few girls in our house, we have hair clips all over the place and I’ll admit that I often sweep them up in the rubbish and throw them away because I’m too lazy to bend over and pick them up. And yet to the little girl receiving hair clips in her shoe box, it was THE thing she really wanted. And when she received them she knew that someone loved her and that God had answered her prayer.
Oh how much we take for granted. We live in a beautiful country where we are free to gather and worship God. We put our children to sleep in a warm bed at night. We have food in our cupboards and fridges. We send our children to good schools. Let’s remember to be thankful, abundantly thankful to our heavenly Father and let’s teach our children to be thankful.
For out of this thankfulness to God, comes action. Out of our plenty, we can give to those in need. And so can your children. Why not encourage your children to use their own money to buy something for the shoebox, or put in the collection bucket, or give to the charity that comes knocking on your door, or the fundraiser that’s happening at school. And celebrate with them as they do it, it’s a joyful privilege to give.
So for those who have donated items for the shoeboxes, thank you, thank you! Please know that you have made a difference in someone’s life this Christmas.