Sunday, November 13, 2011

Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.

When I was a child, I was a PK (pastor's kid) of an ordained Southern Baptist minister. Micah's Papa is still an ordained minister, but he now serves as a college professor teaching religious and speech courses at a local college. For about ten years, my daddy was over a "mission" church in a poor part of a county in west Tennessee just outside of the Memphis area. I grew up watching him minister to the poor, feeding the needy, and clothing them once a week after he preached the Word of the Lord to them. I spent many summers at the mission with my mother, my sister, brother, and my daddy working with those precious people.

Many Christmases we spent a great deal of time picking out Angel Tree presents or helping people out at the mission where my dad worked by giving them a Christmas when they otherwise would not be able to have one on their own. I remember seeing poverty up close and personal. Even though I live in Memphis, believe it or not, you can go without seeing poverty if you know which parts of town to avoid.

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At any rate, I wanted to start some kind of tradition in our family so that we teach Micah to give to others. And I know he is way too little to understand, but he's not too little to take shopping with me. So Mr. C and I started the tradition this year by doing Operation Christmas Child through our church.

We (um, I) decided to do a little boy ages 5-9, and on Saturday Mr. C was sleeping (of course) so the task was left to Micah and myself. Even though he had no idea what was going on, I like to think he was being helpful. He did pick out the Cars toy and played with it in the buggy the entire time we made laps around Big Lots searching for items small enough to fit inside the shoebox.

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I know a day is coming very, very soon that Micah won't so easily give a toy back to me without a fuss in the checkout line! However, this year he enjoyed shaking the car profusely as we walked around. He even managed to scare a little old lady with his shaking because the car makes loud tire squealing noises complete with spinning tires. It came at an interesting time as we walked by the poor little thing.

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At any rate, I really found this activity to be so fulfilling. Can I be honest with you? It's been a while since I've done anything out of my way to give back to the community. Sure, I've served in some church functions as a volunteer. Sure, we've donated money to some charities. However, I haven't been out with the expressive purpose of picking things out for someone else. Giving money to a charity or church is just not near as personal as thinking about the precious face of the little boy out there who opens this box. It felt great to spend money on somebody else, and I hope we can keep this tradition alive next year!

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I know it is early, but Merry Christmas! Can you believe that time of year is already here?

Have a great week!

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