Operation Christmas Child Comes to Davao!

While starting “Stitch of Truth” has been a priority of ours, we are here to serve wherever needed. That “openness” led to an extraordinary opportunity a few weeks ago. Our landlord, Kenneth, is a volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse, and when we went to pay our rent a few weeks ago, he told us that they just received eight container loads of shoeboxes from Operation Christmas Child. Then came the question, “what are you doing this weekend? We need help sorting boxes! Come help!” Kenneth has a contagious enthusiasm that makes it nearly impossible to say no, so fortunately, this was a project we were equally passionate about.
We showed up to the sorting site early Saturday morning, and after passing through a thick steel gate in a highly impoverished, industrial area of town, we were greeted by the boxes. 56,000 shoeboxes to be exact. We spent the next several hours sorting boxes by age and gender for loal churches. Our kids were troopers, I have to applaud them for their positive attitude and hard work that day. The warehouse was hot, the work was heavy and grueling, but at the end of the day, we were exhausted, but exhilarated. We left thinking, “this is why we are here!” After nearly to months of adjustment and rest, we were ready to start giving back.
A week later, Dan and I returned to help distribute the boxes to area pastors, who will give them goods in their churches. The whole experience was pretty overwhelming. Every year around Christmas, we begin to see posters at local stores and churches in the States asking for donations to this wonderful cause. Being able to see the “other side” of this operation was really touching. Many of these pastors traveled to Davao, some for several hours, from the bukid (mountains) to collect these humble gifts for kids in their church. While we think very little of buying a handful of small toys and accessories to fill a shoebox, this is the highlight of the year for some of the recipients. The message of salvation that comes with these boxes is the real gift though. As Dan explained it while leading opening prayer one morning for the workers and pastors, “In 20 years, the items in these boxes will most likely be long gone, but the seeds that have been planted will still be growing and flourishing.”
If you’ve donated a shoebox in the past, thank you, if you’d like to get in on the fun next year, check out Samaritan’s Purse’s website to find out how easy it is! We’re already looking forward to next Christmas!

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One thought on “Operation Christmas Child Comes to Davao!

  1. Wow, what a wonderful way to share your gifts of service with the people of Davao.
    I know there are so many possible areas of ministry there you could stay busy everyday. I remember that the choices seemed endless. But what ever you choose to do we are so proud of you for all your hard work. As always keeping you in prayer, Sandy

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