[caption id="attachment_1550" align="alignleft" width="297"] Collage and Notecards[/caption]
I'm so glad you stopped by. I heard a woman from Bosnia on the radio two days ago tell a precious story, and I have not been able to get her off my mind. She talked about how difficult it was to grow up in Bosnia after the war. She was in elementary school and remembered walking two hours in the snow to get to school. She talked about how her shoes were handed down from her brother and had big holes in them. She recalled the holes looked like big open mouths on the top of her shoes. Her mother would layer her feet in socks then plastic bags and then more socks to keep them warm and dry. She did not complain, but her feet were always wet and cold when she finally reached school. On one particular day she reached the school yard and all the children were laughing and squealing. Her friend told her to go in the school room, there was a man there with a box for her. She had a million questions but followed her friends instructions and went into the class room. It was true. The room was filled with shoe boxes for all the children. A man she did not even know handed her a box and said it was for her. She said she ran to the corner of the room and opened her box all by herself. She opened her box to find a pair of new tennis shoes exactly her size. No more wet, cold feet. And there was a new notebook with clean pages and pencils for her very own. She couldn't believe her eyes. She ran to the man who had handed her the gift and begged to know who had given her the box? Who knew she needed shoes? Who knew she would love to have her very own notebook and pencils? Who knew her? He only said there was a booklet in her box explaining all that. She said she skipped school that day and ran home. She couldn't wait to show her mom the box. Later that night in her room she looked over the booklet. She could not read it because it was not in her language. The next day she went to the man and begged to know who gave her the box. Because she lived in a predominantly muslim country he whispered in her ear, "Your box is from the one true God." I wish you could have heard this woman's response. She said she held her box close to her heart and said "I knew it! I knew there was a God!" And today as a grown woman she bears testimony of a precious personal relationship with God Almighty. He does know her. He knows so much more than her shoe size! He created her and loves her completely. Isaiah 43:1b "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; You are Mine!" She found love in a box that day, but what she really found was so much more. She found Jesus Christ. She received not only the gift of a pair of shoes and a notebook, but she received the gift of eternal life. How precious to hear her weep over that box. How moving to hear her speak the words, "I knew there was a God!"
Today I am thankful for this precious woman whom I don't even know, but will meet in heaven one day. I cannot wait to wrap my arms around her and hear her story. I am thankful for her courage to stand up and tell the world that she knows Jesus and that she loves Him with all her heart. I am thankful for her passion and conviction. I am thankful for her testimony. I am thankful for her shoebox.
I am challenged by her story to gather shoe boxes this week and take my family shopping to fill those boxes with love. My prayer is that the child who opens the box finds El Shaddai, Lord God Almighty, and His gift of eternal life. How precious. I am thankful! love love love Ruthie (Don't forget to leave your comment on my blog and be entered for a giveaway on Nov.30)
( I just googled the shoe box ministry and all the information can be found at samaritanspurse.org if you are interested in learning more.)