1 Monday Jan 13
Good morning. or Buna dimineata as we would say in Romania.
After my trip with Mustard Seed Jersey, I got back from Romania just a few days before Christmas. As always I had taken a number of photographs especially of the Christmas shoeboxes being distributed. I showed my uncle my photos. Some were of elderly pensioners holding a Christmas shoebox with a beaming smile on their face. but most photos were children in the schools. Some of children were holding the boxes tight. Some were of the children opening the boxes and examining the contents.
My uncle looked very carefully at the photographs in silence and then very thoughtfully he said “It’s the looks on their faces that moves me, the look of joy, some disbelief and the happiness”
And I knew he was right. That is what makes the Christmas shoebox distribution so special - the spontaneous joy sometimes coupled with disbelief that the contents of that simple covered shoebox really are theirs for them to keep unconditionally to use and enjoy.
And so my message to you today is a huge thank you. Thank you to everyone who gave whether it was a large school who packed over 100 Shoeboxes or a single individual who gave a couple of items to go into a shoebox. Each Shoebox went to an individual person or a married couple in Romania and for that person the shoebox was incredibly important and made a big difference. It is the difference between receiving a gift this Christmas and not receiving a gift.
St Paul tells us that Jesus Christ (whose birthday we celebrated at Christmas) said it is more blessed to give than to receive. Thank you everyone who gave – and be blessed.