Monday, October 31, 2011

Counting Down the Days...and Packing...

Feeling so blessed.  I went to a birthday party yesterday with Y, MJ, and A.  The party was for the most precious little sweetie from our church who was turning 3 years old.  Her parents asked the guests to skip the b-day presents, and instead asked everyone to bring...donations for our trip.  It almost took my breath away when her mom told me about it.  All of the children had a great time at the party, and we came home with a big box of donated school supplies; crayons, markers, glue, scissors, name it.  We also brought home the rest of the items which had been donated by folks from our church, combined it with donated items we already had at home, and today I set out to pack it up.  It looked like so much, and the boxes were so heavy, I really was afraid we wouldn't be able to fit it all.  Here's the picture of the donations before I packed them:

R and I can each bring two bags, weighing no more than 50 pounds each, plus one carry-on.  We've already committed one of our four bags to blankets (the team is aiming to take a blanket for each of the 300 plus children we'll be serving; it's cold at night in Ethiopia, and many of the children don't have a blanket of their own).  We also need to take supplies to do a Bible story and craft with about 400 children.  Then we'll need to take our own personal things (we're trying to limit that as much as possible).  

I was able to fit all of the donated school supplies into one bag, and it weighed almost exactly 50 pounds!  Amazing.  The blankets fill one bag.  The craft supplies only filled about half of a bag, and only weighed about 20 pounds, so I'm excited that we actually have room for a lot more donations.  We can fit at least 25 pounds of donations into the bag with the craft supplies, plus whatever space we have in the bag with our personal stuff (I haven't tried to pack that yet).  If anyone wants to pick up any more school supplies to send along, we have 10 more days to go!  Below are the three bags I've packed so far; the blue one has the craft supplies, and has lots more room to be filled.  The children at the Carepoints DO NOT HAVE access to crayons, markers, glue sticks...etc., etc.  They don't have money. There is no Walmart.  I was really struck, as I looked at the wealth of donations I was packing, at how much I take for granted.  I do feel privileged to be given the opportunity to deliver this wealth of gifts to the children at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory.  I don't want to have an extra square inch of space, or free ounce of weight, available in those bags when we leave.  Our family will take one last trip to Walmart next weekend to fill any remaining space.  I know that I will be coming home with my heart full...and my bags empty.  Thanks to all who are helping with this.

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