Saturday 9 November 2013

From recipient to donor - Meet Kymbat

Anyone that has read this blog for any length of time will know of my love affair with Operation Christmas Child.  I adore putting the shoebox gifts together for children abroad who otherwise might go without a smile this winter. I know there are other far more important and life-saving projects and I'm involved in those too but I see no issue with giving to the big picture projects and also donating my time, effort and money to projects like Operation Christmas Child that are about offering a small bit of joy in a shoebox and also showing many children that someone, somewhere cares enough for them that they took the time to make a gift just for them.

It has been an absolute blessing to me this year to meet and get to know Kymbat, she is from Kyrgyzstan. Not only because she is a beautiful soul and part of our pastoral group but because Kymbat received shoeboxes as a child in her home country. You read the stories of adults who received boxes as children and how it touched them but nothing prepares you for meeting someone who felt the love and care of receiving a shoebox gift them-self.

This is Kymbat in the summer as she helped to pick in our kitchen garden

Kymbat came shopping with me recently to buy some items for the shoeboxes we would make as a community this year and as I picked up the toothpaste, an item that I consider really boring to add to the boxes she told me about how she loved her toothpaste in her box as it was especially for a child and had a great flavour, something her mother could not afford and that was not readily available in Kyrgyzstan ten years ago. Of course, this lifted me and showed me yet again that I must trust God and his plan, things that I think boring and unnecessary are actually seen quite differently by others.

This weekend at church Kymbat's testimony of receiving her shoebox was read out by a friend of hers and there was many a wet eye in the church as we heard about how proud Kymbat was of her pink hat, no other child had a hat as beautiful and colourful as hers. She knew for sure that someone cared when she received such a special shoebox gift.

It was with great love that Kymbat joined myself and some of the other international volunteers the other night to put together quite a number of boxes. We had a lot of fun and feel sure that many children will be blessed with these boxes filled with love.

As well as box packing, some of the fun came about as Haribo had sent us some chocolate Christmas cupcakes and fairy cakes to get us in the festive mood. These were great and the price is very reasonable at £1 for 6 fairy cakes or £1 for two very big buttercream topped cupcakes but the kids favourite was by far the 12 pack of smaller cupcakes, which I think retails for about £5. Very good value. These are all available from Tesco, Morrisons and Asda and JJ tells me we will definitely be buying more Christmas.

I think by the time we finish up, there should be about 70 completed shoeboxes from the local church and community here and that is a fabulous effort, well done all. Mich x

Disclosure: The cakes were sent to me free of charge.

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