Gifts are Great!
The Samaritan Purse Operation Christmas Child distribution was last Saturday at the YWAM base, so we had been cleaning windows and curtains, mopping, and getting organized. Many individuals made donations - a box cake mix (from the US), eggs, flour, vanilla essence, baking soda and powder - for a special treat, with homemade juice donated for the children, and a program planned, including Merle telling about the Best Gift ever with a box containing a brown skinned baby doll inside to represent the baby Jesus. Although they all laughed when Merle pulled out the doll, we hope that it made a point that they will not soon forget. The most important gift of Christmas is Jesus and what the Father sent him to do for us. We used to do that in our home in Bosnia. I did a gospel presentation with pictures from the Samaritan's Purse Instruction booklet. We showed a video about how the Christmas Packages were prepared, prayed for, and sent all over the world. There are many people here that have never heard of Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. We had 65 or so children and it was a bit crazy. You can see Merle in the middle of the crowd below. We had even more children registered but some didn't show up. We gave boxes only to those who attended, as we wanted the Gospel to be presented along with the gifts given to the children.
I had the opportunity to ask the children why we celebrate Christmas, and I got many different answers, but only a hand full knew that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus! Their various answers were about family, presents, or Santa. After watching the video, I asked them who prepared the packages, and some still thought it was the agency, so I had to explain that it was volunteers and people who love Jesus and the children of the world who take the time to buy, pack and pray over the boxes.
There were very happy children at the end of the day, and we hope they will come back for Kids Club on Saturday afternoons and be involved with the 12 week follow-up training. Pray that the parents will read the included booklet about Jesus to their children, to reinforce the message of the Gospel! Pray, too, that their hearts will be open to surrender their lives to the Lord, and find the way to LIFE!
Thank you to all who participate in preparing gift boxes in the US for the children of the world! We pray that a toothbrush, a Hot Wheels car or a baby doll will remind each child of the greatest GIFT of all time - God sending his Son to be with us - Emmanuel!