Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

December 16, 2021

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

December 16, 2021
One of my favorite parts of Christmas at Redland is Operation Christmas Child. I love seeing our foyer filled with volunteers repacking and packing boxes, filling bigger boxes, and toting them to the big trailer in our parking lot for shipment. So, when I came across this story written by Jessica Shirey in Gant News---I had to share it.

The young woman in this picture is Livia Satterfield Young. She was once a 12 year-old girl in a Romanian orphanage but one day her life was changed--forever--by an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. I like to imagine it came through Redland’s foyer.

Livia was an orphan for 10 years. She described a lack of food, hygiene supplies, and no feeling of love and happiness. She said, “Some days our food supply was so low that all we had was a piece of bread that was hard as a rock and moldy. We also wore the same clothes for a week. We had only one toothbrush which we shared with hundreds of other children.”

Livia longed to feel someone’s love and warm embrace. She said, “I wanted to feel like I existed in this world.”

That all changed when the ministry delivered shoeboxes full of personal hygiene items, school supplies and toys to her orphanage. The same day, an American missionary group also came and Livia met a woman named Connie. Livia said:
“Before we opened our boxes, they shared with us about people who packed them because you loved us. I was so mesmerized by the word ‘love.’ And then, they shared ‘the greatest news of all.’ That there’s a God, and He gave His one and only Son Who died on the cross for me because He loves me. God made this possible through a simple gift. It sparked so much love, joy and hope in my life.”

The same year Connie arranged for Livia to stay with a Christian family, and she accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior.

She said, “I wish I [would’ve] had a mega-sized microphone to tell the whole world I had Jesus in my heart. Two years later when I was 14, Connie came back to Romania, adopted me, and took me home to my brand-new family.”

When Christmas 2022 roles around, I hope you will prepare an OCC gift box or two. Join our Heavenly Father, “…from Whom every good and perfect gift comes.” (James 1:17)

Keep the SON in your eyes!
Mark
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