There are so many organizations who do some very meaningful things throughout the year, especially at Christmas. Operation Christmas Child is a project spearheaded by Samaritan's Purse. When I first saw the advertisements for this program, I kind of shrugged it off as yet another project - there are just so many. A dear friend of mine, Bobby Culpepper, convinced me to ride to Atlanta for the day with him and members of Westwood Baptist Church. Atlanta is a regional distribution center for Operation Christmas Child.
Once there, I must say that I was moved in a way that is difficult to put into words. 700,000 shoe boxes (with gifts inside) will be processed in Atlanta - a small percentage of the 8 million that will be processed throughout the world. 8 million. I want you to know that this project is one that I believe in. We will continue to be involved and look forward to stepping it up a level in 2009.
My job was to inspect the box to make certain that there weren't items in the box that was related to war, any play snakes, liquid, etc. While inspecting the boxes, may times there was a note in the top of the box that was left by the person who put the gifts together. Those notes were very special. But, by far the most moving thing to happen was a corporate prayer. Occasionally, a worker would stop the hundreds of volunteers and say an encouraging word. Part of this time would involve a prayer for each child who would receive a box. She made a great point - she would ask us to hold the box close to us and imagine the child who would receive it. She said that while we didn't know the child's name, God does. He knows the name of each of the 8 million children who will receive a shoe box.