The Dominican Republic & a Shoebox

across the street from our hotel

I’m sitting in a hotel in the Dominican Republic. It’s very surreal. I was just here a few years ago with World Vision. Now, I’m back with Operation Christmas Child to see them deliver their 100 millionth shoebox.

Early (too early) this morning, we pulled the kids right out of bed and strapped them in the carseats to go to the airport. They thought it was exciting to be in the car in their PJs and weren’t really very sad when they dropped me off.

I, on the other hand, was kind of emotional. For some reason, I have been very nervous about this trip. I’m not a nervous, fearful person by nature. When I’m gone from my kids, I know they are having fun and I’m not worried about them. I usually don’t even call to check in because I know they are probably shoveling down sugar and watching movies with their grandparents.

But this time I’ve been nervous. Last night I was literally imagining that Les was going to the DR and I was staying home cuddled up with my kids. It was one of those moments where I could feel myself looking through a doorway into insecurity and fear. I had to forcefully close that door in my mind so I could focus on the trip!

Even still, when I hugged Les good-bye, I felt like I was going to cry. I said, “Pray for me, please!”And even through the airport–getting my ticket, going through security, finding my gate, I felt incredibly nervous.

Then, as usual, God moved in. I saw someone approach our gate with a matching blue Operation Christmas Child shirt. Her name is Kelly and she works for the DeMoss Group which helps do PR for Operation Christmas Child. We chatted before our boarding call and I felt buoyed by her happy smiles.

When I got to my seat, I discovered no one sitting next to me. I lifted up the armrest, sat Indian style and pulled out my books: my Psalm 119 Journible, my Operation Christmas Child trip guide, my Bible and Canary Island by Robin Jones Gunn.

I spent the next hour and a half writing Scriptures, reading about the Dominican Republic and taking a journey to the Canary Islands. It was glorious. I didn’t have the invisible hand of the internet telling me to check Facebook or return an email, there were no kids pulling on me, no laundry sitting undone. It was just quiet time for me to focus and relax.

It all sounds very selfish when I write it out. But it was so refreshing. One of my favorite passages I read was from Jonah 4. Jonah is being all complain-y but he says something so awesome and descriptive of God,

“I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”

He relents from sending calamity. God loves us! He is slow to anger. Abounding in love and relents from sending calamity! I just love that picture of God.

This week as we deliver shoeboxes to kids from the Dominican Republic, I’m excited to show them that picture of God, too. To deliver God’s abundant love in a little box. To show them a God who is slow to anger and relents from sending calamity.

Just being around the National Leadership Team, the OCC staff and the Samaritan’s Purse folks tonight, I can sense how big of a deal these little boxes are. They see this ministry as something that can change a child, a family, a community and a country. They believe God’s Word, God’s Love and God’s promises are delivered with that box.

I’m so excited to be involved and to share the stories of these boxes with you.

Will you continue to pay for me? for our trip? the kids who receive the boxes? the fabulous team here? and my husband and kiddos as they manage life as three?

 

ohamanda.com

 

Comments

  1. Yes! So excited for you and can’t wait to read more posts!

  2. Definitely praying for you, Les and kids! Covering you all with prayer and thanking our Abba for your example of service.

  3. Very excited to here more about your trip. I would soo love to hand out shoeboxes so I will live through your experiences. Praying for you and the children receiving the gifts.

  4. Praying for you right now.
    So excited that you get this experience and thankful that you’re sharing it with us.
    Love you girl.
    Love your heart for God even more.

  5. Beth Zeimet says:

    I pray that you will continue to be blessed and that you will shower our lives with your blessings. You are in my prayers.

  6. Praying for you and so thankfully for you sharing those experiences with us. My sister lived 3 years in DR with her husband. They moved to Cali, Colombia last year. I love that country!
    A lot of people needs Gods love, and you deliver it with a box. Shure I’ll keep praying!
    Joa

  7. I cannot even begin to tell you how often the Lord has brought you to mind these last 24 hours. I’m praying and cannot wait to hear more of the great things He is doing!

  8. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip! My girls and I did 15 shoeboxes this year and we are so excited to track them. They are hoping their boxes go to 15 different countries, but we’ll see. Delivering shoeboxes is on my bucket list so I feel like I’m living vicariously through you right now:) Praying that God overwhelms you with peace and calmness now so that you can enjoy every moment.

  9. What a wonderful plane ride and relaxing time, you deserve it! I am praying for you and all involved! What a wonderful blessing and opportunity you have to show Christ to those beautiful kiddos!

  10. So excited to hear about what God is doing and WILL do during your time down there. Praying that God blesses your time, the people you come in contact with and your kids and hubby back home…

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey! I’m so excited! :)

  12. Sometimes I think that God takes us through those fearful times, because He knows that we need to rely completely on Him. So excited for you and looking forward to all that you have to share. I used my Psalm 119 Journible in the DR too!!! Praying for you and your beautiful family!

  13. Beverly Carr says:

    I’m very excited for you, and I have joined in prayer for you, your safe travels all the way back home, for your family, and for God’s blessing on the shoeboxes. Enjoy your time there!

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