Friday, March 30, 2007



"Great multitudes were gathered together..." Matthew 13:2

Around and around and around she goes – where she stops only God knows! I returned from Russia and India with only a few short weeks to prepare for my sixth Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child distribution. While this would not be the first outreach of 2007 for Sunshine After Rain Ministries (typically Ghana is the first mission trip of the new year), it is certainly the most significant in numbers. Fourteen thousand gift boxes to hand out to twenty-eight thousand eager hands, not to mention the thousands who come to see what we bring, who also hear the Gospel message. No matter how many times I stand before a crowd of eager African children, the site still takes my breath away! As far as my near-sighted eyes can focus I see their upturned faces, straining to see over those in front of them, edging ever closer and closer until a veritable shoving match ensues. Combined with the heat and the numbers, it doesn’t take long until those closest to the front start to trip and fall, and out come the switches of the teachers trying to contain the crowd and the unruliness.

The first morning of the distribution started out bumpy, due to late trucks and difficult load ups. But when we arrived the crowds were waiting. It was hot in Ho region, and with the added dust in the air kicked up by 8,000 moving feet – it quickly made for unbearable circumstances, bearable only through Christ who continued to strengthen us all. The longer the program takes the more the word spreads through the town and more village children and parents show up. Parents in great need, parents wanting something for their child, all saying “Madame, where is my box? Do you have something for me?”

The multitudes showed up for Jesus. The Word tells us He was moved with compassion for they were like “sheep without a shepherd.” Mark 6:34 Even then, Jesus knew many would walk away from His presence “without a shepherd.” He knew healing, full bellies, wisdom and promises wouldn’t change their hearts. During the distribution we offer not only a small physical token, but a greater gift of His love to these, we are laboring to serve. The multitudes are still showing up to see Jesus. We prayed each day they found Him.

“God’s bright glory has risen for you. The whole earth is wrapped in darkness, all the people sunk in deep darkness. But God rises on you. His sunrise glory breaks over you. Nations will come to your light; kings to your sunburst brightness. Look up! Look around! Watch as they gather…” Isaiah 60:1-4