A lot has happened since my last entry. I’ve spoken in a few churches…
I’ve decorated for Christmas and I’m sure I’ve gotten a few cavities from all the saccharin Christmas movies I watched!
I’ve sent and received many Christmas cards. I’ve prayed for all those I received cards from and accepted the blessings that came with the cards I received. I’ve visited with friends and family and participated in three Dirty Santa’s and we’ve all opened a shameful number of gifts…
…and I’ve participated in the whole Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty defense. I’ve been told that I should be their P.R. person…I’m game if they are! 🙂
I’ve had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas season. However, the best part of my season had nothing to do with me but with all of you…and with two young adults from Twin Bridges Baptist Church…and with the children and leaders of two Indian Reservations and one Indian community in Mississippi. The best part of this season was the Christmas Shoebox ministry that many of you made possible.
I sent out a request for help in providing our Native American children with Christmas gifts and the response was wonderful! Ten churches and six individual families participated in this ministry providing a total of 395 shoeboxes! 180 of the boxes went to the Lac du Flambeau reservation in Wisconsin while 161 went to the Colville reservation in Washington State and 54 boxes went to Corinth Baptist Church, a Choctaw church in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
This ministry began last year at the request of two young men, John Phillips and Zeb Mathews, both of Twin Bridges Baptist Church. Their simple request provided approximately 100 boxes last year and turned into something we never imagined this year!
This year John and I were joined by Heather Dix, also of Twin Bridges, when we headed to the Lac du Flambeau reservation to deliver gifts and participate with the Lac du Flambeau Bible Baptist Church in ministering to the Ojibwe people there.
The church members provided a luncheon of Creamy Beef Fricassee, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and homemade Bread Pudding. The room was full.
Then we handed out gifts to a group of very excited children. We enjoyed watching the kids open their gifts…but we had even more fun watching them enjoy their gifts!
Then it was time to brave the cold, head out into the snow and deliver the remaining gifts. The wind chill that day was 25 below but the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. You could hear some of the kids squealing inside when they realized they were getting gifts. 🙂
Pastor Bill Earl, his wife, Bridget and their kids, Taylor, Zayne and Tallen are so wonderful about making us feel at home and allowing us to turn their home upside down.
The land here is as beautiful as the people and we three Louisiana natives were in awe of that beauty. There really are no words…the pictures say more than I ever could…
We worked hard but we did take some time to enjoy all of this beauty. Heather and I even had the distinct pleasure of (and excuse me for this) having our snot freeze right in our noses! Everyone should get to experience that at least once. 🙂
The trip was a fast one and one we will never forget. Yes, the beauty of the land is something we’ll never forget…and the cold is something we’ll never forget…as well as the long drive and the great conversations we had in the car and the friendships we formed. But more than anything we will never forget how great it felt to watch a child open a gift and know that someone in Louisiana took the time to minister to them through a simple box and a few toys.
So, what is next on my agenda? I’m doing some contract work for the Louisiana Baptist Convention for the next month.
Then I’m going to be contacting reservations and groups I worked with last year and making arrangements with them for this coming summer.
I’m also going to be meeting with new groups and new reservations and Native communities to discuss adding to the summer ministry. That means I have a lot of planning to do. I hope to have it all done by the end of February because in March I’ll be going with “I Am Able Ministries” to Mexico to minister to the Mayan children there. When I return I will be collecting ministry supplies and preparing for the summer. It all seems a long way off but it will be here before I know it!
I traveled a total of 15,161 miles during 2013 and I hope to cover even more territory in 2014! Won’t you join me?