Come October and November, many families and churches around the U.S. (and other parts of the world) begin the task of packing the now-famous Christmas Shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse. We used to do them with Kieran when we lived in South Carolina. It was always exciting to get the notice about where your box ended up and to imagine the look on the child’s face as they opened the box. Two weekends ago, we had the chance to experience the other side of the box and witness the power of prayer that goes along with each one.
On our last trip to the village, our pastor’s wife asked if we were going to be in the village at the end of April for Kids’ Day (a holiday in Mexico on April 30th). She said she wanted us to help with a Kids’ Day Celebration they were having at a smaller Pame village about 10 minutes from our village. She mentioned something about shoeboxes with airplanes printed on the side. We recognized the description as being the Samaritan’s Purse and were excited about the chance to help.
On Friday, April 26th, we loaded up our truck with a giant tarp to use as a tent, big pots of mole (pronounced "moh-lay") and rice, baskets of tortillas, and drinks. We drove up the side of the mountain on a bumpy dirt road (thankfully, the mole and rice stayed in the pot) to a small community called San Diego.
|Kieran and Kris helped set up a huge tarp which was used as a tent to keep the sun off the kids.|
|Unloading the shoeboxes, chairs, and other supplies for the day|
We believe that in January (King’s Day), the main distribution of shoeboxes took place. Part of the Samaritan’s Purse follow-up program is to start a Kids’ Club (The Grandest Journey) with the children who receive a shoebox. A club was started in this village in January and they had over 50 kids. The program we attended was the presentation of New Testaments given by Samaritan’s Purse. We also had the chance to give out a few boxes to the kids who did not receive theirs in January.
The pastor’s wife asked us to present the Bibles to the children and Kieran and Elyse were able to hand out the shoeboxes. The children were all very excited to receive their very own Bibles. We continue to pray for the day that these kids will be able to read the Bible in their own language.
|The pastor of our village church with his wife and daughter|
|Our pastor's wife preparing to present the New Testaments from Samaritan's Purse.|
The children who received their shoeboxes waited until the festivities were over to sneak off to the side and open their boxes. Most of the kids were pretty camera shy, so I had to be a little sneaky to catch some of their expressions when they opened their boxes. It was neat to watch them carefully take out each item and show it to their friends.
After the presentation of New Testaments and shoeboxes, the children were all served rice, chicken mole, and tortillas. There were at least 100 people there, but everyone had his/her fill of food. After comida, the kids received bags of candy and balloons. It was very exciting for everyone.
If you’ve ever wondered what happens on the other side of the box, just know that little lives are being touched and the love of Christ is being shared.
Jesus loves the little children...
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white...
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world!