Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last Day of Working Charlotte OCC 2009

What a great week we had working at the Center - the kids were great - they worked so hard and truly had a servant's heart while there. We were so privileged to be able to work in the same section every day. The main leader was Bromley - he is so cool and loves Joel and our group. Our staff person was Shana - we just loved having her there and she loved having us - she told us we were her favorite group. When we first got there that morning another guy was planning to put us on his line, and she marched down and said - sorry but these are my people and took us down to her lines. We got to laugh with her, see her pictures, and pray for and with her. She brought me such great joy!!!

We worked on the special lines again, which is hard work but rewarding to know that Samaritan's Purse is able to go into countries who are Anti-Jesus and share the message of hope, not with words, but with shoeboxes and disaster relief. It also made me realize how great I have it to live in a country that allows me to worship freely.

At the end of the day we cleaned up and headed out for our celebration meal at Buca de beppos. It was a great time of laughing and fellowship. And let's just say that dessert was well....amazing and I don't even like chocolate - you will see our before and after pictures. If you would like to see more pictures - check out my facebook and you can see daily photographs of our trip.

One last thing.... this morning we sent our students and our leaders home and we are still here....why you ask, well my husband was invited to speak at a press conference on behalf of the volunteers since he has been coming for so many years. We get to stay until Thursday night! I also start my new job tomorrow - I guess I will be working from Charlotte for the week - which is fine since I have to do lots of research. Anyway - we will be posting more while we are here so watch for updates. You can also check out for more info as well.

Friday, November 27, 2009

OCC - Day 3

Today was a great day - but once again very tired! But well worth it! We worked today from 9-4 on the special boxes for Lebanon and Georgia (the country not the state). We laughed a lot, awwwed a lot, and worked a lot - and very well I might say. I am not sure anyone took a break, but me...but I did take a working break. After lunch I was having trouble with my body and brain not working so I went to the candy center (not to eat, silly) and sat down on the comfy chair and put 8 pieces of candy in little bags as filler items. While I was there I met a nice lady named Opal and another lady named Dot and a man named William (aka Billy Ray). We had a great time talking about OCC and I was able to educated them on the process - all my years of service paid off and I was able to share about my Jamaica trip.

After we returned home we had dinner then the group (or at least some of the group) went shopping, of course I would never be caught dead shopping on Black Friday. So this brings me to one of the highlights of the trip...tonight I got to spend some time with a dear friend that I have not seen or talked to in four years. It was such a blessing to be able to see her and spend time with her family. I have missed our talks with one another. She has two of the most beautiful children! Anyway - Becky if you are reading this - thank you for our time this evening - it was a blessing from God!

We ended the evening with a great time of devotions and singing. It has been great to get to know the kids better and have some great talks with the girls - yes we even talked about the birds and the bees or "the sexy truth" (which by the way I will be working on starting on Monday). Now I am tired and soon to sleep. As I look around the girls are happily playing cards the ladies are in their pjs reading and the boys...well .... Joel is in charge of them!

Day 2 OCC Thanksgiving Celebration

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late) But I am going to write this as if it were yesterday since I promised daily updates. We had a great day of rest and relaxation. We enjoyed a nice hope made thanksgiving dinner for 17 people made in our mini kitchen of our sweet. We were able to use the room downstairs to eat which was a blessing - below you will see a picture of our spread - pretty impressive if you could see our kitchen. I think the coolest part of the meal was one of the staff members walked into the room to get something not realizing we were there, and so I asked her if she would like some dinner, and she made herself a plate and called me Mam like 12 times - it just made me happy to food someone else! I just love feeding people. Anyway - it was a great day and we had so much to be thankful for!

Hope you and your families had a wonderful thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

OCC Day 1 - in the books!

So fun to get back to Charlotte to help process shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. As we walked through the door, we were greeted by the hugging lady! So nice to see her again - she is like that cute little grandma that everyone loves. The center made a lot of processing changes last year but since I wasn't able to come this is my first year experiencing it - my thoughts you wonder....I love it - it cuts down on a huge amount of noise in the warehouse. I can be doing presort and talking to one of the kids that is doing inspection as well as cartonizing - I love it! The staff is great as always - we especially loved working with Shana today - she was a sweetheart! We hope to be on her line again tomorrow.

Our group was lucky enough to work on a special line for Sensitive Countries - basically that means that the boxes we were working on were going to countries that do not like Jesus - so we have to sort through the boxes to find boxes that don't have Jesus stuff in the box - USA stuff and the part that was interesting was no pigs, or winnie the pooh - you would be surprised how many boxes have that stuff. One thing that I should note - we did not remove those items from the boxes - they just went to different countries that weren't so sensitive.

It was a long day but a great day - we even got to work an extra hour because they had several groups not show up. My biggest thankgiving moment of the stool - thanks Kevin! Oh I did have another thanksgiving moment - I got to see my friend Randy Riddle - he is pretty much the next best thing to Franklin Graham! But really - it was such a blessing to reconnect with him - he went along on our trip to Jamaica several years ago.

Okay I think I am done with my thoughts for today - I need to get my beauty sleep, so I am not only physically beautiful, but emotionally I don't want to be ugly if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On our Way to Charlotte, OCC Processing Center

It has been two years since my last visit to Charlotte, last year - I was a little busy - wedding stuff, so I guess that is a good excuse. Anyway - Joel and I along with 14 other students and leaders will be piling in a van and making our way to the south. We have another group joining us on Thursday. This will be my seventh year going down - each year I get so excited about serving this awesome ministry. Samaritan's Purse is one of those stellar ministry organizations! They have great staff, great vision, and great opportunities to allow others to serve along side them.

If you are a praying person - please pray for safety for us as we travel, for extra energy as we work all day (for me especially, I don't always tolerate standing very long) and pray especially for the boxes and the children that will be receiving them.

Stay tuned for daily (hopefully) updates and pictures from our trip!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

Hey Friends - have you packed a shoebox yet? If not - you still have two weeks to do so. If you don't know what I am talking about - check out and you can find out how you can pack a shoebox gift for a child around the world. Each year over 2.5 million shoeboxes are packed for children in over 100 countries around the world. Several years ago I had the privilege to go to Jamaica and hand out shoeboxes with an amazing team of OCC staff and friends from around the US.
The children that received these boxes were so filled with joy....if only we could learn to be more joyful in plenty and in want. We have so much to learn from children - especially children in other countries. I have had an opportunity to work with children in Jamaica, Guatemala, and Kenya and all these children - despite having so little - were some of the joyfilled people I have ever worked with. I think Jesus was trying to make a point when he mentioned having child like faith.

Tonight and last week some of our students got to participate in making shoeboxes for other children. It was mass chaos - starting with the shopping trip with middle school girls (fun times!), setting up the room, high schoolers doing boxes, then a room full of middle school students. It was not a big room and it was hot - but they were great and packed over 70 shoeboxes! It is our prayer that lives would be changed because of the message of Jesus Christ that is sent with these shoeboxes.