Recently we had a children’s party as part of “Operation Christmas Child” which is part of the Samaritan’s Purse ministry. We partnered with the local representatives of “Operación Niño de Navidad” (the Spanish version of Operation Christmas Child) to take the gospel to the neighborhood where one of the families from our congregation live.
We had some 20 kids and a few youth and adult helpers. A good time was had by all. We had a time of games and activities then a Bible story taken from the OCC manual and finally handed out the shoeboxes that were packed with much love and prayer in the U.S.. We’ve seen some of our supporting congregations publicizing their Operation Christmas Child events for collecting boxes so we were curious as to where these boxes had come from. A couple of them contained notes and both were from Ohio.
What a joy to see the kids’ eyes light up at the contents of their boxes! One thing caught my attention, however. We’d seen cars, dolls, stuffed animals, socks, toothbrushes, etc. But one kid came up waving a hammer. A hammer? Yes, a small tack hammer. I thought, “Huh? Who sends a hammer to a 12 year old boy?” But it turned out that there were some crafts in the box as well, crafts that require the use of a hammer to assemble. Oh. Ok. But then we got to talk with his folks. It turns out that this kid loves to make things. And that’s when it clicked. We had NO idea what was in any but a few plastic boxes that were clear and some of their contents were visible. But SomeONE knew as a family up in the US of A was picking out gifts that there was a kid that would get a charge out of something simple as a hammer. And that box made its way across the North American continent to a container that was shipped to the South American continent, went through customs, was trucked to our city, stacked along with thousands of other boxes, counted out along with all the other boxes that were handed to us as our part of the ministry, picked up and placed into the hands of that particular young man who APPRECIATED the gift more than one could imagine. Nope. I don’t believe in random “coincidences”, not at all.