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December 2009 Newsletter
I hope you are already enjoying a sweet Christmas season. I know I am.
The day after our November Women’s Expo, I felt a prevailing presence of the Lord pervade my spirit and my home. I knew He was going to give me his finest gifts for Christmas. And so, like a child, my heart delighted, my eyes widened. And like an adult, I waited.
God knows just what our hearts need. And after months of coordinating the Women’s Expo, mine needed refreshing.
I believe the Lord orders our steps if we surrender our walk to His path. And I was willing.
The first gift was a journey to Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child (OCC). I stepped through an open door of opportunity that was a result of a divine connection at the Women’s Expo with my friend, Stacy. God knows all of our needs, so this seasonal job-mission, where I was hired to train teams of volunteers, was a great blessing to me and a reminder that sometimes divine appointments reside within our existing circles.
At OCC, I met Livia Satterfield, a young woman from Romania. Livia and I became fast friends as we worked together as trainers – alongside Stacy – at the Suwanee, Ga. processing warehouse from just before Thanksgiving until mid-December. Livia shared her testimony with me and others of growing up in a Romanian orphanage without presents of her own to keep, until she received her first Christmas shoebox at the tender age of twelve. Miraculously, the donors of Livia’s shoebox adopted her two years later. Livia is now age 22 and gives shoeboxes of love to children who live in her former circumstances. Nearly every day at OCC, I received hugs from Livia, and God brought my heart to its knees. But He didn’t stop there.
As I navigated through the plant’s parking lot each day, I encountered church vans, rented coach buses and family-owned vehicles, most of which were from out of state, some as far away as Louisiana and Mississippi, all carrying volunteers who served willingly during the holiday season. This vast display of generosity impacted in my heart.
As I stepped inside, the sweet presence of God floated in the atmosphere. Large banners of the smiling faces of children from around the world hung high on beams, reminding us why we were there. God’s heart was made manifest through the hundreds of volunteers as far as I could see, standing in unity, working diligently toward the divine goal every day.
These were workdays that began with a 30-minute devotional each day. A chaplain was on staff, mixing with the crowd, to attend to personal issues that the Holy Spirit brought to the surface. All the workers were ministered to, even fed food on some occasions.
Oftentimes, after training hours, I would walk down the aisles between the rows of volunteers who stood at processing tables. The magnified presence of tangible goodness among the multitudes overwhelmed my heart.
By the end of the day, we had poured out, and we were able to walk through the door that led to home feeling a deep sense of accomplishment and victory.
God used OCC to prepare my heart to step into new assignments for 2010. I look forward to even more gifts as the Christmas season approaches.
May your Christmas and New Year also be filled with great abundant, life-gifts from our Holy God who loves you beyond measure.
Margaret D. Mitchell