Our Christmas Shoe Box Campaign
Faces and eager eyes of hundreds and hundreds of children. On POH campus. At times like a seething cauldron of humanity. All dressed in their best and coming in response to our promise to provide special gifts for them at Christmas. This was something that moved me to openly weep tears of joy. To have the opportunity to bring a simple message that “Christmas was all for them,” tore at my emotions. Over and over in the Scriptures, God’s message was that God was sending His Son Jesus for us. “For unto YOU a Son of given.” “ Unto US, a child is born.” The angel’s announcement to shepherds was “to YOU, is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, and YOU will find him wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger.” Eight times in Luke’s Angelic announcement, personal pronouns were used. This baby was born for all the “YOU’S” in the world, including the hundreds of children and parents who had gathered there on our campus. What a thrill to hear them shout out loudly in Creole, “GOD LOVES ME,” and “I BELIEVE,” Hundreds of families in the remote mountain villages will be touched because of our team effort. Many will come to know Jesus as Savior because YOU CARED enough to provide gifts and the means for us. Thank you!
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
My wife said to me, “This is really a Christmas to remember,” and then asking, “Now what did I do with my purse?” To observe young people like Walker and Avery Brunner, interacting freely with the olive- skinned kids at POH, and others from the villages was inspiring indeed. These two American youths seemed to blend in completely with the fun-loving children that massed around them, and were surrounded by masses of children, with olive colored skin, but with hearts of love and desire for friendship. To see their father, John Brunner, dressed at Santa Claus, walking and joyfully waving his arms, shouting out Merry Christmas, tossing candy and gum pieces into the air, surrounded by a hundred children all pulling at him was an unbelievable sight. I looked at his wife Dresden, who was a special agent of love and compassion, and said, “Is that your husband John?” Coming into the church literally crammed wall-to- wall with children, everyone broke forth in the song, “Here comes Santa Claus,” a show that went on for nearly a half hour. I even joined in by playing the keyboard and our own Junior and a couple of the boys pounded away on the drums. It was bedlam for a while. Then came singing Christmas hymns, and performances by different Haitian people, including our deaf children (which was a special treat to me). To see these 6 children, born without hearing, stand before hundreds of hearing children, and sign their song of praise to God, brings tears to my eyes as I write these words. Formerly without any hope of an education, or interaction with their world around them, they now know they are loved and have a future.
Gifts to children was the highlight of the day. I was amazed. Betty and I had purchased 240 small children’s watches with small calculators on them and solar powered calculators. Andre handed every one of them out making sure every last child had a gift. Had it not been for these gifts, many children would have gone without. These small gifts, made in China, were like thousand-dollar gifts to any one receiving them, gifts they never had, nor would they ever have, had it not the tangible love we shared.
Our last blessing was to be driven home from Ft. Lauderdale by our professional photographer, Mary Kay, who served untiringly taking pictures of everything and everyone, who has become like a part of our family. What a girl she is, after being challenged by the Maryland ladies, and having received Jesus as personal Savior at by the big table breakfast time at the hotel one morning, she was love in action, having received the greatest gift of Christmas. Mary Kay will forever be like our own.