Yesterday was Kings' Day here in Mexico, a holiday celebrating the supposed day when the wisemen found Jesus and were able to give him their gifts and worship him. Kings' Day is when most children here receive their presents, as opposed to Christmas, and the spirit of gift-giving is one we try to take advantage of in order to minister to all the children around us.
Yesterday evening we held a special outreach event at our church. There were songs, games, snacks, and most importantly a Bible-based Christmas play, telling of the birth of Jesus and the gift of salvation He offers us all. At the end of the service, with the help of Operation Christmas Child, supporters in the States, and the local church, we were able to distribute more than 60 gifts to as many children. There are no words to describe the way I felt when I saw the joy and excitement in their eyes as they opened their bags and boxes. Things like toothpaste and toothbrushes, combs and hairbands were like treasures before them. New shirts, socks, stuffed animals, toy cars, and so many other seemingly small things brought huge smiles to their faces. It is a joy to be able to bless them...but at the same time I ache for their souls. We shared the Good News of the Gospel with them. We have shared time and again through Vacation Bible School, Kids' Camps, and the Super Saturday club. Some have accepted Christ, and others still do not understand. We plant the seeds and water them, then trust that God will grow them when there's nothing more we can do or say. We hope and pray they will understand just how much Jesus loves them, that the greatest gift of all is one that is FREE and offered to us all.