Friday, July 10, 2015

Packing Progress!

It was another fabulous Friday! We made a lot of progress packing up supplies to send to missionaries. There is 1 box of medical supplies headed to Haiti, 2 boxes of educational supplies going to Cape Town, South Africa, 4 boxes of supplies for Christmas outreach going to South Dakota and 1 box of Christian books also going to Cape Town, South Africa. And it was all packed in under 3 hours! These boxes are set to ship out next week.

Shipment to the Canary Islands

4 Boxes of supplies shipping to missionaries in the Canary Islands. These missionaries are working to start preaching points in the 26 unreached counties on the island of Tenerife. They are training and encouraging national Pastors, Pastor's wives and Pastor's Children along the way.

And where are the Canary Islands, you ask? 
They are a group of islands governed by Spain but located just off the north west coast of Africa.

A Balikbayan Box Story

So here's one definition of a balikbayan box: 
a cardboard box filled with gifts; sent by a Filipino living overseas to his family and friends back in the Philippines

Well none of us here are Filipino. Although we have not had the opportunity to make friends with the Filipino children and their families who will be recipients of the gifts in these boxes, we do have a mutual friend in the missionaries who work hard to minister and serve the folks in that area. 

The great thing about Balikbayan boxes (besides the items they contain) is that they cost one flat rate to ship no matter how much they weigh. The large Balikbayan Box is 24" x 24" x 18". We currently have 5 of these boxes filled for shipment. We will fill at least 2 more in the upcoming week.

Currently we serve 2 missionaries in two different areas of the Philippines. One of these missionaries is the Director of a children's home. She is responsible for training these children up to know Jesus, provide a roof over their head, make sure they receive schooling, clothe, feed and bathe them along with seeing that they are provided with much love. The other missionaries are a couple who see to the needs of thousands of children most of them living in poverty or on the streets. They see that the children get free dental care, offer a pregnancy program for mothers, provide nutritional meals and teach the children about Jesus. This is just a small peek into all that these missionaries do. . 

To give you an idea of items needed by these missionaries, we took photos as we packed these 5 boxes.

Large Balikbayan boxes as provided by our local shipper.

Heaviest things go in the bottom so we started filling 4 of the boxes 
by putting in 2 cases of Pedia Sure (96 cans!)

Another area in which the missionaries serve is responding to emergencies. The orange backpacks are all-weather backpacks that will be utilized by the emergency response teams.

I remember one of the missionaries posting about helping folks when their home caught on fire. So when we had the opportunity to purchase fire fighter gloves at a discounted price, we got a couple pairs to send.

Many of the children have no shoes. We ship over a lot of flip flops! 

Before taping the box shut we had a piece of cardboard on top so that nothing inside gets damaged when the box is cut open. 

 The second box....

 96 more cans of Pedia Sure... (32 lbs!)
 Backpacks! The children cannot go to school if they don't have a backpack! The missionaries will distribute the backpacks to children who need them so they don't miss out on going to school!
 Black dress shoes - that is another item that children must have in order to attend school. So the 2 pairs of shoes on the right are for school children. The pair of Dr Scholls will go to some fortunate adult woman who is need of a great new pair of shoes!
 We also added in 2 cases of toothpaste. When the children go for their free dental care that the missionary arranges, they receive a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. Then into the box went a couple of children's dictionaries again, for school. There are also 2 toner cartridges. Printers and copiers are great tools for missionaries. The toner cannot be purchased locally. And what good is that wonderful tool if there is no toner to use in it...
 We do our best to pack each box to the fullest. Yep, that is a pair of flip flops inside that toner box!
 That wrapped brown package in the middle is a tambourine. There is also clown make-up in this box and anointing oil. We added a few over the counter remedy items as well - items that the missionary cannot purchase in country,
 We were able to pick up some Stampin' Up Kits for $1 each! So we sent along quite a few of those for the missionaries. Since these boxes will take at least 8 weeks if not more to arrive, we also added in Christmas gifts for the missionaries. We won't mention what those are in case they happen to read this post.... We don't want to spoil their surprise!
 And on to Box 3!
 96 more cans of Pedia Sure! These will help orphans at the children's home get some extra nutrition.
 This box contains Christmas shoeboxes filled will clothing, toys and school supplies. One Christmas shoebox per child! We also added in Hot Wheels coloring books for the boys and animal coloring books for the girls. 
 Then we added in toiletries, band-aids, and other items the missionaries can use throughout the year for birthday gifts and such for the children. 
 And clothing! It takes a lot of clothing to keep all those children looking good!
We added brand new outfits to the box for the kiddos. 
 Box 4 is filled almost completely with more Christmas Shoeboxes stuffed with Christmas gifts. 
 With a few more coloring books added in...
 And more new infant outfits! Plus some birthday plates and napkins
to help celebrate all the special days!
 For cushioning we added new bath towels on top. That is another huge need for the children's home - bath towels and washcloths. 
 And here we are at box 5, starting it out with 96 more cans of Pedia Sure...
 The remaining Christmas shoeboxes went inside this box along with a bunch of toiletries (shampoo, body wash, baby lotion, baby powder, deodorant and so on...) Also included in the box was packages of diapers and baby wipes. We also added new sets of Twin and Queen Size sheets. Gotta have lots of linens for all those beds! And we topped this box off with more new bath towels and washcloths.
 There you have it! 5 packed Balikbayan boxes - with 2 more to pack next week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Many Helping Hands = Lighter Burden for All

Here's a great picture to show one of the reasons why God's Share Program was founded. Our organization finds a need(s). We share the need(s) with those who are looking for opportunities to help meet needs by supplying actual items. This is the result! Just look at all the great items that people in one church supplied once they were aware of a specific need in a specific place. These donors will probably never meet (this side of Heaven) the children in the Philippines who will be the recipients of these gifts, but they will know that from September on they will be responsible for huge, HUGE smiles on Filipino children's faces and for that matter smiles on a few adult missionary faces as well. Even if all these items could be purchased locally by the missionary, it would take them precious time and lots of dollars to shop and buy all this stuff. So thank you congregants of Grace Church of Zephyrhills for taking an interest, sharing your time and financial resources to make a difference in the lives of so many so far away!

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Fabulous Friday!

Why is it a Fabulous Friday? Because we are accomplishing many things for our missionaries! Not pictured is Chris who is cashiering in our thrift store. Margie who is doing all the janitorial duties in the building. -and- Vickie who is doing research from CA on items we need to purchase. With their help Dusty, Barb and Kim can focus on the mission projects.

Barb and Dusty are starting to pack the Christmas Shoeboxes for orphans in the Philippines. These will be sent via boat so we have to make sure they ship out early to avoid port delays and typhoons. They have to arrive in time for the big Christmas party!

Kim is printing out shipping labels for the boxes of medical supplies shipping to Haiti and Africa and the one care package shipping to a missionary family all while messaging with our website tech so he can finish the upgrade to our website.

Top box is a care package going to a missionary family; the next 3 boxes are medical supplies going to a women and children's hospital in Africa; the bottom 2 boxes are going to a missionary starting a clinic in Haiti.