This past Tuesday after school we had a shoebox packing party for Operation Christmas Child. For those unfamiliar with this mission, the idea is that you fill a shoebox with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items, and these boxes are sent all over the world to children in need. Before they are sent, Samaritan’s Purse (the organization that oversees these boxes) puts in a book about Jesus, in that child’s language. So not only are these kids receiving presents when they may have no idea what a present even is, but they are also receiving the gift of salvation. It is truly better to give than to receive!!
Well, our students really came through again this year. Our Jr. High students raised over $900 in change over three days’ time during the annual Operation Christmas Child penny wars. Students from all grades brought in items, filled shoeboxes, and shipping money donations.
We had close to 75 students helping at our packing party on Tuesday, and many great parent/adult helpers as well. Our final shoebox total was 503 shoeboxes, a new record for our school. We had plenty of supplies leftover, but we ran out of empty boxes!! God truly is SO GOOD!!
Happy 11-12-13 from 4R!!
(Yes, check the clock…it’s 9:10am on 11-12-13!)
It’s been awhile since a 4R classroom update, so I thought I’d share what we’ve been up to since I’ve been back from Kenya!
Last Wednesday we had our fall party. We decorated fall cookies and played a bingo game.
The following day was Reformation (some of you may know it as Halloween). We had an extended Religion class to learn more about Martin Luther and his contributions to our faith. Among the activities we did to help us learn more about Luther, we talked about the Luther seal, decided what people back in the 1500s would have put on their Twitter feeds (if they had existed, of course), and made Wordles with all the Reformation words and ideas we had talked about. We also did a hymnal scavenger hunt for hymns written by Martin Luther (there are a lot!!)
Today we worked on two different projects during Religion and Art time. First we made turkey cups, to hang on our Thankful November bulletin board. Each day during Religion class from now until Thanksgiving, we will pick 1-2 students and write about why we are thankful for them. The papers we write on will then go into their cups and be stored until everyone has had a turn. Then before Thanksgiving break, the students will be able to read why their classmates are thankful for them.
The second project we worked on were washcloth bunnies to be packed in shoeboxes next week for Operation Christmas Child. For those unfamiliar with this mission, shoeboxes are filled with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies. The boxes are then sent to children around the world. The best part? A storybook about the good news of Jesus is put into each box before they are sent out. So not only does the child receive gifts for Christmas that they might not get otherwise, but they also receive the gift of salvation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus! What a great blessing to be a part of such a wonderful project! (More to come on that project next week, after our packing day.)
It is truly better to give than to receive. God is so good.
Well, I don’t know about my teammates, but this past week I have definitely been experiencing the post-trip depression that Pastor Stecker warned us all about. It did not strike me as hard as 2 years ago when we returned, but it is definitely still there.
A mission trip, no matter how short or long, is such an emotional, spiritual high. You’re on a mountain while you’re there, serving others, helping those who need your help, and building new relationships along the way. What an incredible and truly hard to describe experience.
As a final Kenya update post, I thought I’d leave you with some words from a song by Caedmon’s Call, called “Two Weeks in Africa.” Somehow they managed to fit into just shy of four minutes a completely accurate summary of what I just experienced while serving in Kenya.
My favorite line is this: “We put the walls up, but Jesus keeps ’em standing. He doesn’t need us, but He lets us put our hand in, so we can see His love is bigger than you and me.”
That’s it. Right there. God could do all of this work Himself. And really, He is doing all the work. We just get to be a part of it. What an awesome gift He has given to our team, and an amazing opportunity He has given to our church as we continue to support His church in Kenya.
God is so good, He’s so good to me.