God is so good . . . He gives us all talents and gifts that make us work so well as a body. I am so thankful that He has given Brian his videography talents. And I appreciate Brian sharing those so creatively again. Brian graciously and humbly works so many hours to do this for us. And Brian repeatedly talks about what an honor it is to do this
It is SUCH an honor. We are privileged each year to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. God is with us in the small things and the big. It’s my privilege to get to share some of those things with you.
God shows up each year in the little things. Providing flip flops that someone felt convicted about including in their boxes – that is a provision of the Lord. The 200 boxes of toothpaste that were donated by dentists just when we needed them – and the 200 toothbrushes that showed up minutes later donated through an insurance company – were all His handiwork. Finding on the first try the 1 box in a hundred that was missing the candy – that’s His doing. Orchestrating just the right volunteers for each day’s delivery – only God could coordinate that. The Father has walked before us each step of the way from each individual box that was packed to each carton delivered to LR. He was in our collection week. We set a goal this year of 1500 boxes for FBC and 5000 for our relay center. God is good and in His goodness He gave FBC the opportunity to share His love 1590 times! And our relay center produced 5611 gospel opportunities! Several people have already received emails and we know that boxes from here have gone to Togo, Lebanon, Benin and Tanzania.
This year a few of us got the chance to follow all of those boxes one step farther by working in a processing center. The Scharns had the opportunity to travel to Charlotte, NC and the Robinsons and the Alexanders traveled with Ken and me to Atlanta. If you get the chance, grab one of them and ask about their experiences. We definitely want to go back next year and after talking with them, I guarantee you will want to join us. I do want to share one story with you about God’s presence in the rest of the delivery of these gifts. While in Atlanta I was talking with a dock worker who was checking in some extra boxes we delivered. He said he keeps hearing non-profits talking about how donations are down, but OCC continues to gather more and more boxes each year – meeting or exceeding expectations every collection. He said, “God’s hand is truly on this ministry.”
By the time we got to Atlanta they had already processed over 1 million boxes. Seeing that many boxes is amazing – but seeing God’s hand in it is overwhelming. Todd and I were checking the contents of boxes for inappropriate items. On our first day there we processed boxes going to Madagascar. During that first day we saws lots of items and we were encouraged by how many boxes contained appropriate items. On our second day we were checking boxes that were going to Ukraine. We hadn’t been working very long and it occurred to me that I had seen several winter hats and gloves. I didn’t remember seeing them the day before. So, then we started paying attention. Box after box after box contained hats and/or mittens. The boxes we were checking had come from southern and NW AR, OK, MS, AL, and FL, so they weren’t just from one group. We started holding them up when we saw them. Our group was becoming emotional as we were seeing that God was providing just what was needed for the Ukranian kids that would be receiving the boxes. At one point we noticed that we were starting to see fewer and fewer hats and gloves. We called over one of the supervisors and asked if the delivery area had changed. She went to ask for us and came back to let us know that we were now processing for the country of Belize. Belize is just north of Guatemala on the Gulf of Mexico. I can’t imagine there is a huge need for hats or mittens there. During the remainder of our time I could have counted the hats we saw on one hand. Not only had God orchestrated just what was needed each box, but He gave us the eyes to see it and the chance to be amazed by Him.
I often say that our job here, to pack boxes and run a relay center, is not rocket science. But God walks with us here. When we got to the processing center we got to see where the project becomes big enough that it almost takes rocket science to get the job accomplished – and He is there as well. God knows the name and location of each child and the contents of each box. He is in the details – big and small – and He allows us to be a part of that process. What an honor and what a privilege to be used by Him to bring others to His throne!
So many of you helped with the collection this year. I wish I could hug and thank each one of you personally. We had packers, wrappers, coordinators, shoppers, cooks, drivers . . . Thank you for offering your time, talents and resources. Thank you for making an impact for the kingdom!! One box = one child. 5611 boxes = 5611 children! I am so blessed and honored to be a part of this amazing team.
Keep checking the website throughout the year. We will be posting OCC updates with impact stories from the field as the boxes are delivered. We will also be giving tips on better ways to pack your boxes and we will feature items to purchase for your boxes. In addition, we will share more info about the processing centers and eventually post info for those interested in working at a processing center next year.
For His Glory!