Someone graciously left a bunch of Ty Beanie Babies at the church for the church’s shoebox ministry. We are one of 3,200 churches across the country that work with Samaritan’s Purse by sending shoeboxes filled with stuffed animals, shoes, toothbrushes, soap, wash cloths, coloring books, crayons, cups, and whatever else you think kids in need could use. Samaritan’s Purse distributes them around the world as an avenue to open doors to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. They have been collecting about 10 million a year the last few years. Yesterday it was announced that 660,000 Operation Christmas Child boxes will be going to Ukraine and Ukrainian border areas. You can click the gold “give” tab in the upper right hand corner of the page on their OCC web site to financially support the shoe box ministry or here to support their work in Ukraine as they provide hospitals with supplies and prepare to take a field hospital.
The Beanie Babies in shoe boxes always make me smile. I remember as a young parent buying them for our kids. I remember everyone saving them because the Ty company had convinced people they were going to be worth a lot of money one day. Boy howdy, did people buy them and save them. Things do not accumulate value just because people say they will. As a matter of fact it only makes sense that they are not making anyone rich today because the value is partially based on scarcity and they are not scarce, but are instead plentiful. However, the value to the kids in war-torn Ukraine who receive a small stuffed animal will be priceless.
Now, think about this: The God of whom the children and families will hear when they receive a box is the same God who knew the purpose for the Beanie Babies in our shoebox room when they were purchased 30 years ago. The person who donated them had no idea when they were purchased that they would indeed be of value, but not in the way they intended. Rest assured, God knew. And He knows the little hands that will hold them one day. He will also use them to draw people to Himself.
Our God is amazing.