Operation Christmas Child

For the last several years we have wanted to volunteer at a Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox processing center. This December we finally did!

so excited to be here!

getting started with our wonderful coach

It was so exciting to dig in and start processing! As the boxes came through the assembly line, some of the jobs were…

sorting…

taping…

putting shoeboxes into cartons…

scanning and heavy lifting.

we had the right amount of people to fill a station

Another splash of fun was added to the mix when we ran into a couple of different people we knew…the most unexpected one being the director of the camp we go to in Iowa!Thousands and thousands of shoeboxes are processed here in one day.And if you think about all those “one days” that are added up, from eight different processing centers in the US, that is a lot of people that will be impacted with the gospel if each box only reaches one person. But in many if not most cases, each box affects more than just the one who received it.

shoeboxes were prayed over a number of times during the day

There was also a prayer wall, full of pictures of children for volunteers to write prayers on the back of.This was the last year of having a processing center in Minnesota before it moves to Chicago.The stories that come from a child hearing about Jesus through a shoebox are amazing. A simple gift like this can be used to bring so many people to Him. Why not plan to pack a shoebox or two for next Christmas? Find out more info here.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:13-15 NKJV

Thanksgiving

We have found in the last several years that Tennessee is a great place to spend Thanksgiving! Not because of the beautiful mountains and a few green leaves still hanging onto the trees…but because we get to be with people we love. And as we sat around the table with grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins and said what we were thankful for, over and over again it was mentioned—family. So here is a photo recap of our time with them!

always a feast!

one of the dogs had an assigned seat next to Dad, since she is now his Thanksgiving buddy (click here to see how it started)

That weekend was Grandpa’s birthday so it was fun to celebrate with everyone.

Grandpa with three of his sons and four of his grandsons

The last night we were there we piled into two vehicles and went to the nearby NASCAR speedway to drive through a lengthy Christmas lights display. It was a lot of fun.

amid the many displays we were glad to see the true meaning of Christmas represented

It probably took over an hour to drive through the drag strip and winding road full of lights which led into the speedway.

entering the speedway

yes, that is our 15-passenger van driving on a nascar track

We’re grateful for family and the time spent together. And heading home we got to stay with more family…climaxing with a late-night major snowball fight!

snowy smiles

It is good to give thanks to the LORD. Psalm 92:1 NKJV

Merry Christmas!

Here in Minnesota we love having snow for Christmas!But even if we didn’t have snow, there would still be Christmas.And even if there were no beautiful lights, there would still be Christmas.

But there wouldn’t be Christmas without Christ.

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:10-14 (NKJV)

Merry Christmas!