I spent several hours Wednesday at the Operation Christmas Child processing center packing little boxes into big boxes. What a joy to give my time to children at Christmas!
We arrived at 9 a.m. just as a busload of volunteers from Arkansas was exiting a big bus. Apparently their church sends a group to Dallas every year to spend three days helping send out thousands of the millions of shoeboxes filled with gifts to children in impoverished places all around the world. What a wonderful way to spend their money, traveling to serve others rather than just for fun!
So often I get fixated on my own ministry and forget the joy of simple practical hands-on serving. Weeks ago my friend Brenda reserved several slots and threw out the opportunity to a large group of us, and I grabbed it. I was so glad that I said yes and plan to make this a yearly Christmas event.
I met a nice couple from Seattle who worked on either side of me at our station. He taped the shoe boxes to keep them in one piece, and she boxed them like I did. I asked her if she wanted to trade spots and work beside her husband, but she quickly refused, saying they each tried to fix the other’s work too much. We had quite a laugh over that! This couple has worked at 3 of the 8 Operation Christmas Child processing locations and plans to go to a different center each year to volunteer.
At Christmas there are multiple opportunities to serve hands-on with toys, food, and gifts. The Salvation Army needs help with Angel Tree. Your church may have a special party for refugees or needy communities. Just look around because the opportunities are great.
Whether you have a regular place to serve God or not, consider how and where you can do something different at Christmas, when so many ministries, churches, and non-profits need help accumulating and giving out toys, food, and gifts. I know you will be glad that you did!