Saturday, December 25, 2010

the parcels arrived!

December 22, 2010

i have mentioned before that when i wake up early early with an idea it is often a God prompted thought. and that has proven true once again.   about a month ago i felt prompted to write  to many of our friends and family asking them to consider 'bringing christmas to roatan'.  the response has been phenomenal and i am grateful for the willingness and generosity that has come our way.

when i look back over the week before christmas 2010 i will think of buying food, buying toys, buying shoes with the money that many of you sent us.   it was good for us to be able to purchase things as we were aware of the needs.   we found brand new shoes for 1.50 each and had almost half the store looking and helping us gather up the right sizes.   we went into the small pulperia's in the market and bought beans, rice, flour and lard.  we were grateful for their willingness to bag it up into 3 lb. bags as that saved us alot of work.

on wednesday Bob went to french harbour and got the 11 boxes that came in the mail.  my words can not adequately express our surprise and joy when we opened up each box!!   i didn't give people much time to get the parcels together and yet many of you went out of your way to shop shop shop!!  bless you for the many toys, puzzles, games, the wonderful hair accessories, the baseball bats, and the beautiful clothing you packaged up!  it was overwhelming to go through boxes you sent.  thank you personally for the chocolate and licorice all sorts and also the gifts you sent to us.  we appreciate it so much!  thank you thank you thank you!

Later, we took the shoes and some clothing to the swamp.  many people here on the island aren't comfortable going in there, but we felt called. i won't lie though.. i was nervous to go. it isn't that it is a bad place it is just that people are known for being more desperate and unruly than other parts of the island.  but just before going in the Lord reminded me of the time when the mob tried to assault Him and He walked right through them unharmed.  He gave me the peace to believe that we were going 'as His hands and feet' and that nothing/no one would harm us.  we met at miss iola's place and since we had a list we were able to call the mom's in and allow their kids to try on clothes and shoes.  it was all very peaceful and beautiful.  we were able to share about this being a gift from God and in that tiny little room when Bob prayed i felt the Lord's presence welling up in us all.

it has been a wonderful blessing for us to be able to give and to remind that people that they are not forgotten by the Lord.   the gifts we give them are just a mere token of His most wonderful gift:  His forgiveness, love and blessing. we were able to share that over and over to many!

a few months ago i stood out on the beach and listened to my neighbor's story about her life here on the island.  during that time i felt my heart welling up with compassion for this beautiful mother of 13 children who is working so tirelessly at the cruise ship docks braiding hair.   as soon as i saw some of the bigger toys i knew that i was meant to go over and give some of it to her children.   so i gathered up 13 presents (extras for the grandbabies!) and some food and made my way over to her house.   she was so surprised!  i had brought some wrapping paper (thanks carla!) to give her to wrap the presents but she said, oh i will be giving it right away.   i asked if it was okay if i came inside and so in the dim light of her small livingroom i handed out paint by numbers, a wooden boat model, hair accessories, games, action figures, dolls, and stuffed animals.   they were so happy!   at the very end i handed her a box of chocolates and said, mama this is for YOU!   i thought she would burst with JOY!
carol with some of her kids.. enjoying an early Christmas!

i told her about how we were poor as kids and how the kiwanis used to come every year and bring us food.  i told her about the christmas parties where i would recieve a small toy. i don't ever want to forget the ackward, painful feeling of not having enough at christmas and also the joy of having someone place a box of food at our feet.

my words can not convey the effect that this is having on this island.  it is such a blessing to give.  we have been going 'non stop' but at the end of the day we fall into bed blessed and happy.

thanks for your prayers and your support. i know i keep saying that but that is because it really does make a difference to us and also to the lives that we are touching with His love.

God bless you!

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