"We hope you enjoy these gifts and find joy in life,On Friday night, my Kyrios small group got together and packed some shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. For those of you that don't know, OCC is a way for us to give some hope and joy to children overseas in countries that have suffered through war, poverty, natural disasters, etc. The shoeboxes are packed with some toys, hygiene items, school supplies and some words of encouragement.
Do not give up, especially in times of strife.
Have a Merry Christmas, and for now forget your fears,
There are people here to help you and save you from many tears.
Let God into your heart, and joy will surely follow,
So as you read this message, think happily of tomorrow."
The poem above was written by one of the teens. It's actually a nice poem--very thoughtful. However, to be honest, I think it's a bit TOO DEEP for young kids to understand. Plus, who knows if English is even their first language? :) I actually wanted the whole group to write it together, but the teen just did it on his own. I had stepped out of the room to get some supplies, but by the time I got back, he was already so focused on his composition. At the time, I didn't know what to do because he felt so proud of his work and I felt awkward about criticizing it. In retrospect, I should have been a little more persuasive to revise it so it would be suitable and understandable for children aged 5-9.
Anyway, in total, we put together 8 shoeboxes! We were aiming for 4, but everyone did a great job in contributing so much. Praise God! :D