Thursday, November 18, 2004

It's not to late to pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child...

I brought two good-sized shoe-boxes to work with me today, one filled with presents for a little boy and one for a little girl.

It's amazing to think that about fifteen dollars worth of toys, hygiene products and hard candy from the dollar store will bring a world of joy to a child in a country like Sudan, Afghanistan, Liberia, or more than 90 other countries around the world.

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse. This from the official website:

"Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. This program of Samaritan’s Purse provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands-on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift. Along with shoe box gifts, millions of children are given Gospel booklets in their own language. In 2003, we collected over 6.6 million shoe box gifts worldwide and distributed them to children in some 95 countries."

My 17-year-old daughter Elizabeth decided to pack a box for a little boy, using her own money to buy the stuff. She flitted excitedly through the dollar store, adding things to her cart with the occasional, "Mom, do you think a little boy would like this? All little boys like cars, right? What about basketball cards? Do you think a little boy in a foreign country would know about basketball?" She ended up cramming a big L.E.I. shoebox with all sorts of fun things.

You know, you can buy a whole lot of stuff at the dollar store for fifteen or sixteen bucks.

Last year I interviewed Kathy Klag of Operation Christmas Child. She told me that small stuffed animals are one of the favorite gifts of the children, because many of them have no toys, no pets, nothing to hang onto and love. The kids are starved for color and fun. You can include hygiene items, warm socks and gloves, hard candy and chewing gum.

The website will also give you drop-off locations near where you live. I encourage you to do it. What a great way to spread the love of Christ, and to teach your children about giving.

OK, I thought I was posting the very best corn casserole recipe...
But Ashley posted this one in my comments section, and it looks like a winner! Ashley tells me, "I always get asked for this recipe after I take it to a potluck or a church social."

The unique touches of the rice and the Mexicorn really call out to me. I'm definitely trying this one:

Ashley's Corn Casserole

1 pkg. saffron rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Mexicorn
shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare rice according to package directions. Mix with cream of chicken soup and Mexicorn. Pour into a buttered casserole dish, top with cheese, and bake at 350 until cheese is melted.

Thanks a bunch, Ashley!

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