I still remember her inviting dark eyes, rosy cheeks, and beautiful smile. Her tender soul and eagerness to communicate in spite of our communication barrier drew me to her with great delight. She was thirteen , distanced from family or relatives that she may have had left, I do not know for sure. She slept in a building full of children, simple framed bunk beds, light blankets, few items to each child. These children all rescued from the freezing cold air and hungry stomach aches that homeless children endure. These children had been rescued and their eyes were filled with joy.
Some of the children had lived in the basements of tall gray buildings, keeping warm on the hot pipes below. Beds of card board to sleep on. Below the make shift bed they relieved themselves, enduring the smell just to survive the winter. They had no where else to go until someone found them and pulled them into a cleaner environment. My YWAM friends and I helped clean up this place. The plan was to turn this into a wonderful environment for the children. Our short visit didn’t enable us to see the finished work. In the meantime, we met with the children at a safe home above ground.
The children were hungry to play and laugh. They soaked in every cuddle and smile.
When it was time to leave, the beauty, her name translated Star Flower, embraced me. I was a young eighteen year old girl who wanted to take this girl home. She wanted to come, I am sure of it. She gave me gifts. She, who had so little, gave me gifts. The gifts were from her (Samaritan’s Purse) Operation Christmas Child shoe box that she had received a previous year. She had kept these things in her shoe box still. They were of great value to her. I was speechless as she honored me with her treasure.
These shoe boxes matter. Every child who receives them is touched deeply by the gift in them. They are touched that someone, anyone thought of them. They are beyond elated by the toys and toiletries they receive. They are in awe of the answered prayers for shoes or other items they had been asking God for. Awe. You and I get to be apart of something so very BIG.
I encourage you to pray and ask God how many shoe boxes to fill. It is so very simple and maybe even sacrificial for many of us but so very worth our time and money. Please click here to go to Samaritan’s Purse website.
Six thousand miles away and seventeen years later Star Flower reminds me of the gift that I get to give, one person at a time, one shoe box at a time. Join me in blessing others during this Christmas season. The “drop off” time is this week and next week so please, step up and step out and see what a gift it is to shop for those less fortunate.
“He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:6-8