“You can’t heal your own wounds until you help someone else heal theirs. Start serving.” – Chris Brady
While many people in society were thinking of their own needs during the Christmas season, Life Leadership Members continued to think of those less fortunate. Operation Christmas Child is an incredible organization that received needed support by several Life Leadership Members. Here is the Life on Life story, written by Debbie Spolar:
Life Leadership Members Serve at Operation Christmas Child in California
On Monday, December 14th, 2015, several Members of Life Leadership served at the Operation Christmas Child processing center in Irvine, California. For over 40 years, Samaritan’s Purse has heeded the call to help others in need. Since 1970, they have done their utmost to follow God’s call by going to the aid of the world’s poor, sick, and suffering. They are an effective means of reaching hurting people in countries around the world with, food, medicine, and other assistance. This allows them to spread the Good News of God’s Word.
Operation Christmas Child is one of many projects Samaritan’s Purse puts on. People, churches and organizations around America fill shoe boxes with items such as, toys, candy, clothes, toiletries and school supplies to be shipped around the world to children in need during the Christmas season. As the boxes are given, local pastors or church leaders present the Gospel as the kids and the whole family listen in. Along with the shoe box gift, children also receive The Greatest Gift, a colorful presentation of the Gospel in their own language. They are also invited to enroll in a discipleship program.
Over 40 Life Leadership Members participated in this Life on Life initiative to lend a helping hand at the processing center in Southern California. The evening shift started out with a message from the president of Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham, some instruction, and a prayer over the incoming volunteers. The group was split up into six different teams. Those groups were placed at tables that filled the warehouse. Each table had 5-6 different jobs consisting of collecting any donations left in the shoe boxes, making sure the boxes were filled and packed correctly, taping the box ensuring every child receives an in-tact box and finally packing the crates full of boxes to be shipped out to the world.
This particular evening, the Life Leadership volunteers prepared the boxes to be shipped to the Philippines. They were for children from 2 years to 14 years of age who will receive a box full of items they would never have attained if it were not for Operation Christmas Child. The director of the processing center had set a goal of 40,000 shoe boxes to be processed by 10:00pm:
“With each shoe box, up to seven people will be positively impacted by it.” – Director of Processing Center
With the efforts and enthusiasm of the volunteers, they reached the 40K mark by 9:00pm. When ten o’clock rolled around, more than 46,000 boxes were processed and ready to be shipped to the Philippines. Check out what some of the volunteers had to say about the experience:
“Operation Christmas Child not only was a wonderful evening of joy, but what a blessing it was to watch so many others being blessed with warm hearts and big smiles by serving the children of the world.” – Curtis Spolar (Life Leadership Member)
“Operation Christmas Child is a great opportunity to work, pray, laugh and see the true heart of serving. This experience has become a tradition for me.” – Teri-Smith Boone (Life Leadership Member)
“Serving with Operation Christmas Child through the Life on Life initiative was not only doing good for others, but also a very fun experience that makes me look forward to next year.” – Titus Jumper (Life Leadership member)
I was inspired by these words by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: “I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor. Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.” – St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, diary 163
“The Christmas season is a great time to focus on mercy and this opportunity to serve has been an experience to witness how the power of many hearts joined together can convey that message far and wide. I hope others can be inspired by it and seek opportunities to be merciful in a variety of ways throughout the year.” – Debbie Spolar (Life Leadership Member)
What an incredible story of love and kindness displayed in California for the Life on Life Initiative. Life Leadership is so proud to have Members with such selfless hearts. Thank you to all those who volunteered from Team Liberty Quest, under the leadership of Curtis and Debbie Spolar.