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Little Samaritans

July 2, 2013

About a year ago Kendra invited us to join a group of mothers and children coming together to stuff supply bags to have at the ready should we pass a person in need by the roadside.  She was very well organized and prepared a devotional reading for the children (“The Good Samaritan”) before the children participated in packing the bags.  We live right by the highway and every day pass people holding signs by the roadside asking for help.  It took us about five days to hand out our bags.  This left 360 days of driving by these individuals and hearing from the back of the van (Elizabeth), “He needed us, and we just drove on by.”

Yesterday at Costco, I was passing by the ziploc bag department and felt the sudden inspiration to strike out on my own and pack up some bags for distribution.  I rounded up a few things and told the children the good news.  I announced prematurely as we have now experienced 24 hours of excitement and angst waiting to pack the supply bags.  I got my ducks in a row this morning and with the Hoffners, who happened to stop by, we commenced preparation of the bags. We started with making cards to put in each bag.  I am certain someone somewhere will be blessed by Lucy Hoffner’s picture of “The Lord” (below) and JoJo’s  “Sharks in the Water”. When the interest in card making dwindled, I invited the children to proceed to the coffee table which was all set up with supplies to put in each bag.

It was not so much an organized assembly line as it was a mass stampede.  Only a few children were trampled. Some of the bags turned out better than others.  The children tended to project there own preferences onto the recipients of our bags and some ended up quite Dorito heavy. We also had a problem with Annie unpacking the bags as fast as we could pack them. There was (as always) a good bit of falling down and crying.  Miss P ran around in circles the whole time clutching her first bag to her breast crying, “Aaaahhh…somebody is trying to take my bag!  Don’t let nobody take my bag!”

I thought to redeem the whole experience by reading the story of the Good Samaritan, but to my dismay someone had ripped it out of the children’s Bible, so we just skipped that part.  Although it was over quickly (the whole thing took about 10 minutes), I am certain we will get a lot of mileage out of this activity.  It is the kind of thing the children will be talking about for a year.

J stayed at the table long after the little kids had gone outside to eat the left over chips, researching inspirational quotes on the internet and writing them on handmade cards to put in each bag.  I can only imagine, were I down on my luck, how cheering it would be to receive one of her cards and read: “Love the people God gave you, because someday he’ll need them back!” or “You have no idea until you spread your wings how far you can soar!”

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