A couple of weeks ago, our church announced the opportunity to participate in Operation Christmas Child and we were so excited to get involved with Alice! Giving is something that is close to our hearts and it brings us great joy to share what God has blessed us with others.
Alice chose to give to a little girl her own age and we explained that we were going to give her toys and things her family might like and need. I had done quite a bit of research on which toys/objects were best to give so that it would be both fun and practical.
The best in question?
toothbrushes and covers
soap and plastic cover
brand new short sleeve shirt (no logos or writing)
small flashlight with batteries
baby doll with light brown skin/no hair
While there was nothing but long sleeve shirts, we got all but the soccer ball and pump. Alice had so much fun helping to pick out her things! We also got to have a great discussion about why we give (because God first gave to us and it's a way that we can love each other) and also about giving the best we can - not just the most economical. It's not a matter of pride, but more a mark of a generous and cheerful heart. I'm sure a little 4 year old girl isn't going to care about the brand of colored pencils she gets, but it was a good lesson to show Alice to choose to give extravagantly and not cut corners on quality to save a dollar. This may be a girl from a third world country, but she is worth giving the best gosh darn pencils to! I'm sure not everyone agrees with this, but at some point in my life someone shared this lesson with me and it made a deep impact on me and the way I give ever since.
While we took things out of the packaging to fit in the box and packed it all up tight, we prayed "for our little girl across the world." That is the term of endearment Alice uses for her. We talk a lot about not knowing her, but that maybe with the gifts we give, she will want to know Jesus and the great gift He gave her already.
Here's a sneak peek at what we chose for our little girl across the world...
"God, would you please help the little girl across the world want to know you? And that her family would want Jesus, too? Thank you for the present we can send her. Amen."
Cheers to cheerful giving and giving cheer.